Back in my drama/dramatic days (I've been in recovery for a hot minute now---Praise Adonai!), I used to feed off of The Young and the Restless. Genoa City was a trip. If you stuck with the show long enough (a year or so), eventually everyone would sleep with everyone...*literally*.
Honestly, Nashville isn't much different. It's an industry town filled with gifted broken people who seem to be drawn to other gifted broken people. *No matter how many degrees of separation there are.* That's why I think that quote tickled me so. It just oozed with sarcasm...and honesty. On so many levels, I got it.
But this message isn't about dating/sleeping/not knowing what you're doing with someone who has been in that exact same scenario with more than a few people that you may personally know. No, this message is about one word in that quote that the Spirit inspired me to pen this week for the "On Fire" gals.
Leftovers. LEFT. OVERS.
It's such a "ying yang" kind of word. On one hand, leftovers aren't always *so bad*. Growing up, if your mom made a meal and if you liked it, knowing that there would be some *leftover* for the next night was pretty cool. On the flip side, if it was something that you didn't enjoy, knowing that it was awaiting you beyond that one dinner was enough to make you dread the entire next day.
So, when the Lord brought "leftover" into my psyche, especially as it relates to this blog, I wasn't quite sure what he had up his sleeve (you know, if he actually wore any). Oh, but then I looked up the definitions of the word and it got a bit clearer:
Leftover: (noun) Usually, leftovers. food remaining uneaten at the end of a meal, especially when saved for later use; (adj.) anything left or remaining from a larger amount; remainder; left as an unused portion or remnant
Then I thought about a sitcom that I saw once upon a time in which one of the women said, "I can't believe this. I'm picking at my own leftovers." (She meant going back over and over to the same person and kind of person, at that!) I started piecing it all together, but I needed one more part of the puzzle. Boy, was it a doozy!
"If you ladies are *really going to trust me*, then you have to process relationships like MANNA from heaven. Keep what I want you to keep. Get rid of the leftovers when I tell you to get rid of those too. *And exactly when I tell you to do it*."
Whew! 'Cause here's the thing. If you revisit the story of the Israelites and manna found in Exodus 16, you will see that there were *very specific instructions* that they were given on how to handle what was defined in verse 31 (Message) as "The Israelites named it manna (What is it?). It looked like coriander seed, whitish. And it tasted like a cracker with honey." Anyway, check out (or revisit) this part of the story:
"So Moses told them, 'It's the bread God has given you to eat. And these are God's instructions: "Gather enough for each person, about two quarts per person; gather enough for everyone in your tent."'
The People of Israel went to work and started gathering, some more, some less, but when they measured out what they had gathered, those who gathered more had no extra and those who gathered less weren't short—each person had gathered as much as was needed.
Moses said to them, 'Don't leave any of it until morning.'
But they didn't listen to Moses. A few of the men kept back some of it until morning. It got wormy and smelled bad. And Moses lost his temper with them."---Exodus 16:15-20(Message)
One of the main things that I've been praying for as it relates to the "On Fire" women, as of late, is that they get "free from the ties that bind" so-to-speak. That they look at the *truth*, *the reality*, of the situations that they are in without doing the kind of fantasizing that they have manipulated into believing is faith. Why? Because *the truth* (John 8:32) is that there are so many of us who *can't get on to God's best* because we're still hoarding our past: *our seasonal past*.
In all honesty, some people have not been "manna" but *quail* in the sense that God didn't *bless* us with the person. *We demanded him* (Psalm 106:15). But there are other individuals that the Lord sent our way for one purpose and we tried to make it be for something else. As a direct result, either we got what we needed, lesson wise, in the relationship *or* in hindsight, we realize that the Most High was still merciful and taught us some things on the back end.. All in all, we got what we needed and now the time is now up. It's time to *fully let go* and yet...we're still hanging onto the leftovers. *Now* the thing that was once to be *beneficial for us*, because we're still hanging on, is just like that manna was for the Israelites when they didn't release it. It's wormy and smelling bad...no longer of good use.
WHEN WE HOLD ONTO THINGS PAST THEIR SEASON (PERSON, PLACE, THING OR IDEA), THEY ARE NO LONGER OF GOOD USE TO US. *EVEN IF THEY WERE INITIALLY*.
I thought about this *even deeper* when I read that Adonai-inspired instruction that Moses gave to the Israelites when he said, "Don't leave any of it until morning." And then I thought about a lot of our own versions of manna in the form of "MAN-NA" and how so many are still hanging and holding,yet wondering why they're still "emotionally nauseated". Have you ever eaten something that's spoiled? It was once good, but it's expired now. Food past its time is unhealthy. Relationships past their time are as well.
Most of the Israelites' entire life journey was about fear (so much so that many of them *died in the wilderness* and never saw the Promised Land-take heed!). It was God who sent manna from heaven in the first place and so truly if he said to let it go, *he knew what he was doing*. If in sending us life lessons, in the form of MAN-NA, in preparation for our beloved that is to come, the Lord says "LET IT GO", why would we think that his wisdom is any less profound? After all, "'For I am the Lord, I do not change'" (Malachi 3:6-NKJV) He was providing people *just what they need when they needed it* back then and he's still doing it now (Philippians 4:19).
You know, there was an exception on the manna tip. On a day like today, on the Seventh-Day Sabbath, he told them to gather some the day before and that it would not spoil. And yet, you know what's a trip about that? Manna was to be held over so that they could *rest*. The point? Even if in your spirit (IN YOUR SPIRIT, NOT YOUR FLESH), you're feeling like the season isn't over, if you're in a state of anxiety in your meantime, then that's your cue that you're still hoarding and not fully hearing from the Lord because if God is in it, there will be peace that's present.
The Most High is divine because I have been thinking to sit down and pen this all day. But as another Shabbat is coming to an end and day is turning into night, how fitting that, to some of us, the Lord would say, "That relationship---whether literally or as it relates to the memories of it---that you've been hoarding, let it go. Don't leave any of it until morning. I have other provisions in mind, things that are to fill up that space---*abundantly*."
For some of you, if you take this to heart, *if you know the Lord is speaking to your heart*, this is going to be a long night/night season for you. But there are three Scriptures that I want you to hold close:
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end."---Ecclesiastes 3:11(NKJV)
"The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."---Ecclesiastes 7:8(NKJV)
"For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning."---Psalm 30:5(NKJV)
You deserve a fresh and full romantic experience.
Please...*stop picking at the leftovers.*