Mrs. Nolen

When I was a young girl, I would stay a week with my grandmother in the summer.  She was employed at the local factory that stitched seatbelts for the auto industry, so I would spend my days with Mrs. Nolen while she worked.

I remember having the best fun with her. We would spend hours watching the birds eat at her bird feeder as I talked. I am sure I was a nuisance talking as much as I did, but she didn’t seem bothered by me. 

Lunchtime was the best! She asked me what I wanted to eat every day, and I requested the same thing: cheese and crackers, please!! I was obsessed with those fancy round crackers and the individually wrapped cheese. Unfortunately, I grew up in a big family, so we didn’t get fancy foods like these. Mrs. Nolen kept two kinds in her refrigerator; Cheddar and Swiss, but I would always ask for, “Swiss cheese, please!”

Our afternoons, Mrs. Nolen would place a book on my head and tell me to walk around the room. And she was the first person to introduce me to a fingernail file. I had no clue how to use it when she handed it to me. With a puzzled look on my face, she snatched it back and mumbled, “I can’t believe she doesn’t know how to file her fingernails.” I am not sure if almond-shaped nails were the fashion then, but this is how she shaped my nails. The sound the file made on my fingernail gave me the willies. I thought it was gross, but she proceeded to tell me, “every girl must learn to do her nails,” and then she would paint my nails. One day they will be pink; the next day, they will be red.

            I hate to say this, Mrs. Nolen, but I still don’t keep up with “doing” my nails.    

It may not sound like fun to you, but it was such fun when I was a little girl. I am sure it was because I had her full attention, and we did ‘girly’ things. Having five brothers, I often ran around catching frogs and snakes; I was a little tomboy.

Even though I spent hours as a child with this woman and have many fond memories. If I were to walk into her home and ask for “Cheese and Crackers, please.”  She would probably yell at me to get out of her house and call 911 to report that an offender had walked into her house.

Of course she would! Because she wouldn’t know me. Just because I had a close relationship with her when I was younger doesn’t mean she would know me today. Right?

Matthew 7:21-23 New English Translation

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many powerful deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers.

I know, it seems strange to hear our all-knowing Lord say that he doesn’t know a person.  But Jesus isn’t referencing intellectual knowing here, but relational knowing. It’s also hard to read that Jesus would speak ‘unloving’ words such as these; ‘go away from me.’

It is true that the Lord loves and wants to have a relationship with everyone.

We know how to protect our own families by not inviting strangers into our homes. How much more would the Lord preserve His heavenly home by letting anyone in that HE doesn’t know (have a relationship with).

Did you have a close relationship with Jesus when you were younger, but it’s been years since you ate “cheese & crackers” with Him?

I know life gets in the way, so many things grab our attention. Responsibilities with our family, jobs, and community can muffle the knock at our heart’s door.  Though I want you to know He is still there at your door knocking.

Revelation 30:20 KJV Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.

You might be thinking, I don’t even know what to do to be in God’s will, or, I cannot add another thing to my busy schedule.

I used to think that his will was about “doing” good works. Honestly, I exhausted myself, striving to be “good enough” or doing “good.” I thought it was my ‘works’ that made me good enough. Unfortunately, I had it all wrong.

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast.

Jesus himself explained it very simply to the disciples.

John 6:28-29 New International Version Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One he has sent.”

To believe in the One (Jesus), we would need to know what was recorded in scripture about Him. And when we read scripture, it’s helpful to ask Holy Spirit for insight.

I can remember when I would read my bible and think I was reading riddles, and it didn’t make any sense to me. However, once I started to ask Holy Spirit to be with me as I read, scripture became alive to me.

John 15:26 Living Bible But I will send you the Comforter—the Holy Spirit, the source of all truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me.

It was amazing that the verses that I read each morning gave me the tools to navigate through my day. I was encouraged, and I felt His love, and it made me hungry for more.

I will finish this blog by saying this: God is loving, and HE longs to have a relationship with us.

Jesus made way for everyone to bring us back into the right relationship with Him. Not only that but, Jesus sent the helper to us, Holy Spirit.

Do you hear the knock at your heart’s door? I want to encourage you to invite God in. Just start out eating “cheese and crackers” with him, and before you know it, He will fill you.

Psalms 107:8-9

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

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