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Have you ever made yeast bread from scratch? A few year’s ago, I decided to master making homemade yeast bread. It wasn’t as simple or easy as I originally thought it would be. You see, yeast is a living substance, specifically a single-celled fungus. If the conditions are right, yeast will bubble and grow and cause the dough to rise to make light, delicious, mouth-watering bread. But, if the conditions are off – even slightly – you will end up with a thick, dense, hardly edible loaf. My bread making improved through a series of trials and errors which eventually led me to really know the right environment the yeast needs.
To make a good yeast dough, you need fresh yeast, warm water, a sugar source and time. With the right ingredients and environment, the hard, beige granules you pour from a simple paper packet will begin to soften, expand and bubble into a creamy, foamy substance that will eventually make a wonderfully delicious bread. If anything is off in the equation; the yeast is past its prime, or the water is too hot or too cold, or there’s inadequate sugar, the end product will leave something to be desired.
In the book of Mark, Chapter 8, verses 14-21 Jesus is talking to his disciples while traveling and uses yeast to teach a valuable lesson. Jesus and crew have just left a crowd of people that Jesus had been teaching. He had done a repeat performance of miraculously feeding a large group of people with a few loaves and small fish, and is now back on a boat with just his disciples. Bread was on the minds of the men with Jesus, as they were now getting hungry themselves. At this moment, with stomachs rumbling, Jesus takes the moment to impart wisdom instead of nosh. He says to the disciples, in verse 15, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.” The Message’s version of the passage adds in the word “contaminating” to describe the yeast of these groups of people.
In typical fashion, the disciples seem to ignore this warning from Jesus and instead, argue amongst themselves about who forgot to pack the bread. But let us not ignore the warning, mommas. What am I putting into my life and my mind that seems so small but has the power to grow and expand just like yeast? Am I allowing myself to be contaminated with the yeast of the world or am I feeding on the word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit?
Are you living a life that is full of light; that tastes satisfying? Or, does your existence feel heavy and leaves much to be desired? You see, just like with yeast, contamination can start out seemingly so small and insignificant but it can grow and effect the taste and texture of everything.
Last week, we talked about the #1 factor in getting the birth you desire being selecting a care provider or team that shares your birth philosophy. The reason for this has a lot to do with Jesus’ warning in Mark 8:15. What yeast are you feeding on during your pregnancy?
Labor is risky and needs to be closely managed. Birth is extremely painful and can’t be handled without pain management. The medical team delivers your baby. Breastfeeding is difficult and painful. Parenting is full of sleepless nights and groggy days at best; it is a burden.
You were created to carry and birth your child (Genesis 4:1). Labor is incredibly hard, but rewarding work (John 16:21). The experience of birth and parenthood can draw us closer to God our Father (Hebrews 4:15-16). You have been given everything you need to care for your child (Ephesians 2:10). Your child is a blessing (Psalm 127:3).
I hear the skepticism and doubt as you are reading, “reality versus wishful thinking.” These two scenarios are different realities, but both are very real possibilities. I challenge you…come back to hear Jesus talking to the disciples, “Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in?”
Be intentional about what you let into your life; what you will let rise and grow in your mind, as well as your heart. Be aware that entering into motherhood is a delicate adventure. Just like with bread making, you need a warm environment, a soft touch and lots of time. And with all the right ingredients, God will fill you up and satisfy well beyond what any carbohydrate can do.
Oh, but bread is still such a delicious weakness….