“Stop writing about juice and start writing about Jesus!”
Her words stung. It’s been nearly a year since they were spoken to me and even so, they race through my mind often.
This advice came from a well respected friend, mature in her faith, whom I look up to. I know what she meant.. “Have no other gods or idols above the Lord! Put him first in your heart, in your thoughts, in your words, in your deeds. Share about Jesus! He is number one!”
It’s good advice, really. Necessary truth.
However, my first thought in response to her message was, “I feel like I AM sharing Jesus. I know I’m not perfect and I’ve allowed other idols to consume my thoughts more than Him. Juice has/is one of those things. But for me, sharing about juice IS sharing about Jesus…”
For me, sharing about juice IS sharing about Jesus.
Before elaborating on the above statement, let’s take a look at Luke 5:1-11 – Jesus Calls His First Disciples.
5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Jesus finds himself at the Lake of Gennesaret or the Sea of Galilee, in a crowd of people longing to hear him speak. He sees three fishermen (Simon, James, John) and hops into a boat belonging to Simon Peter. He asks to go a few feet off land because he can preach to all the people from this spot. Hopping into the boat, Jesus already knew the burden that lay upon the hearts of the fishermen. They worked hard all night long only to come up empty handed.
Have you ever experienced that? You concentrated all your effort, strength, determination, and power into a task that turned into a disastrous flop. And the most frustrating part… the failure wasn’t for lack of trying, you did everything you could. Still, you beat yourself up because if only you were more ___ or had more ___ then you would rise to the top as victorious.
I imagine the fishermen carried this same sense of defeat. Their one job was to catch fish and they couldn’t even do that.
So, Jesus being Jesus, planned a radical encounter that would forever change the lives of three weary fishermen, soon to become the first disciples.
He simply met their physical need.
He told Simon to cast their nets into the deep… Simon must have thought, “Um DUHHH Jesus! You seriously think we haven’t already tried that?! We are professional fishermen!”
But, rather than arguing Simon basically says, “We have already done what you’re instructing, however, I recognize WHO YOU ARE and because of that I will obey with an open heart.”
With obedience comes the harvest. The nets overflowed with such an exorbitant number of fish that the boats began to sink. It was in that moment that Simon truly grasped who Jesus was and what He was doing.
Jesus, this man who was said to drive out demons and heal the sick, the wise teacher who breathed the word of God to crowds of hungry people, this Jesus cared about EVERY need. He cared about their day-to-day life. He cared about their profession. He cared about their success. He cared about their need to feed, make money, and provide for their families.
They had toiled through the dark hours of the night, expending every bit of effort that could be mustered up and caught nothing. Yet, Jesus speaks a few words and suddenly there are more fish in the nets than Simon imagined to be in the entire ocean!
Simon fell to the feet of Jesus admitting his own sin and realizing the worth of the Messiah before him. Moments later, he along with the 2 others, left behind EVERYTHING to follow. Their identity radically changed from fishers of fish, to fishers of men.
The fishermen had their need met by Jesus and through that miracle of provision they were able to recognize the Savior, admit their sin and learn they could not get through this life on their own efforts. Jesus does this over and over again in the gospels. He meets a physical need and through that act leads a person to salvation and belief.
Consider some of the other “headlines” in the book of Luke:
Jesus feeds the five thousand
Jesus heals a paralyzed man
Jesus heals a demon possessed boy
Jesus heals the leper
Jesus raises the dead
Jesus calms the storm
Jesus sends demons into a herd of pigs
Jesus heals a bleeding woman and restores a girl to life
Jesus ministered by showing the world that He cared about their needs, big and small, just like His Father and through that love eyes were opened to salvation.
This brings me back to my original statement, For me, sharing about juice IS sharing about Jesus.
As disciples, casting nets into the world and fishing for men, we must show others that we honestly care about their physical needs. We care about their problems because Jesus does. We care about their needs because Jesus does. We cannot simply ignore their pain and leave them with, “Well Jesus will take care of it.”
No, we ask the Lord to meet their needs, using willing hearts to help. And as we genuinely care for the needs of another we are able to show them the heart of Jesus.
So, when I post about juicing or healing foods or utilizing God’s creation as natural medicine I am not merely doing so because I am interested in these topics or because juicing is my god.
I share because these are tools from my God, being used by my God to meet needs, bring healing and glorify His almighty name. Sharing this path that GOD ALONE has led me down and called me to obediently walk in, IS my witness. This is my field of ministry. This is where my Father called me to cast my net & fish, at least for today.
I share because there is a national health crisis as more and more people are plagued with chronic, mystery, autoimmune, and complicated illness for which there are few medical answers. I share because I personally suffer every single day with pain and endless symptoms that were made immensely BETTER and vastly improved my quality of LIFE by implementing a healing focused diet. I share because the number one killer of people in this country is heart disease… a disease that has been PROVEN to be preventable and REVERSIBLE even in late stage patients, with the proper dietary measures. I share because cancer, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, digestive disorders, migraines, depressions and more are rampant in this country and much of it has to do with destructive dietary and lifestyle choices, many of which well meaning people have no clue are hurting them.
I share because God has led me to truths which are inconvenient to hear but necessary. I share because the Lord has spared my life from the grips of death in order to bear HIS story.
I share because THERE IS A NEED.
I share because I believe God can use my life, and is using my life, to help meet the physical needs of others. I share because the sick need something tangible to grasp hold of, find hope in, begin implementing and joyously discover that it has been Jesus all along, wrapped up in a different package. It was never the food, it was never juice, it was never the plant… it was all Jesus working through HIS creation to meet a need.
My God is almighty. Truthfully, he doesn’t need my help. He can do it on His own. Lovingly, He allows me to play a role in this story. My God is powerful. He doesn’t need all of my conversations to overtly be, “Jesus this, scripture this, the bible this…” because in His power, all conversations and all actions and all witness that we bear can point directly back to him.
God needs his children everywhere, in every type of profession, in every realm of entertainment, athletics, business, and on every type of social media, radio, television, and Internet sources. He needs us everywhere so that the nets we cast may touch every speck of the sea.
Wherever you are, that is your mission field. God can use your classroom, office, restaurant, factory, social media account, athletic interest, trip to the supermarket, isolated days, time as a stay at home parent, sickness and even your conversations about juicing to make disciples.
Will you let him?
To me, juicing and Jesus are not different. They are one. Interchangeable. Because the hands of Jesus are in EVERYTHING and I cannot help but to see him them every which way I look.