SALT. What Can a Lowly Mineral Teach us about Living for Jesus? #4 Salt Creates Thirst

salt creates thirst

salt creates thirstI recently had the opportunity to descend 650 feet into the earth for a tour of a salt mine. We saw a chunk of 99% pure salt, glimmering in the light, almost see-through. There were boulders of salt cut out of the cavern, only 4’ across, and weighing many tons. I couldn’t resist going up to one and licking it. This particular mine covers miles, and is still active today. You wouldn’t think salt would be so interesting, but I was blown away by some of the things I learned. It got me to thinking about Jesus’ description of His children as “the salt of the earth”. What does this actually mean? 

What Can a Lowly Mineral Teach us About Living for Jesus?

No. 4: Salt Creates Thirst

Not long ago I went on a rigorous overnight hiking trip with friends. The September weather was sweltering and we spent two days drenched in sweat. On the steep trails, we stopped often to slake our thirst, and I remember one stop in particular. We had drained our water bottles and camel packs knowing that we were coming up to a spring where we could refill. By the time we arrived at the stream, which had dried to not much more than a trickle, we were parched. It seemed to take forever to filter enough water to drink our fill, but boy was it  wonderful to finally gulp those cool mouthfuls of water. Thirst satisfied, we were energized – mentally and physically – to continue the long, hot hike.

Thirst is surprisingly complicated, and we don’t yet understand all the mechanisms that create, and satiate, it. Part of the reason we get thirsty is because of the imbalance in sodium content of our cells. Water follows salt (like when your salt shaker clumps up during humid weather), and when fluid is pulled from ourselves through sweating, dehydration, or eating something with a high sodium content, we get thirsty. Thirst is our body’s way of prompting us to consume the water that we need to function healthily.

If “you are the salt of the earth”, then your life will make others thirsty.

salt creates thirst

We might make others thirsty for lots of things through the example of our lives. In every exchange, we, as the salt of the earth, have the capacity to create a thirst for something higher and holier. Your genuine patience with the lady who is digging out coins to pay her $4.33 bill in the checkout line will inspire others to cultivate the same kindness. Your joy in suffering will cause others to yearn to experience the same other-worldly joy that comes from security in Christ. Your example of honesty when it would be easier to mask the truth will cause others to thirst for the freedom that comes from such boldness. The relationship you share with Jesus, evidenced in your words, actions, attitudes, choices, has the power to be as salt, making others yearn for that life-giving, purifying, healing water that only comes through a relationship with Christ.

Thirst is the Body’s way of reminding its members to drink deeply of the water of Life. What are you making others thirsty for?

pinterest salt creates thirst

 

This guest post is written by Rae Schrock, Editor in Chief of Daughters of Promise Magazine. This article first appeared on the Daughters of Promise blog. The fourth in a series of four, it is used with permission. For more information about the magazine, click here.

 

 

 

Salt – What Can a Lowly Mineral Teach us about Living for Jesus? #3 Salt Preserves

salt preserves

salt preservesI recently had the opportunity to descend 650 feet into the earth for a tour of a salt mine. We saw a chunk of 99% pure salt, glimmering in the light, almost see-through. There were boulders of salt cut out of the cavern, only 4’ across, and weighing many tons. I couldn’t resist going up to one and licking it. This particular mine covers miles, and is still active today. You wouldn’t think salt would be so interesting, but I was blown away by some of the things I learned. It got me to thinking about Jesus’ description of His children as “the salt of the earth”. What does this actually mean? 

Salt – What Can a Lowly Mineral Teach us about Living for Jesus?   No. 3: Salt Preserves

My favorite attribute of salt is its ability to preserve. My fascination with this quality was heightened by a recent trip into Hutchinson Kansas’ salt mine, where one whole section of the museum as dedicated to information about salt’s amazing ability to preserve. It is common knowledge that salt is a food preserver (think of salt-cured hams, one of the few ways to keep meat before refrigeration), but did you know that it is also a preserver of paper and other materials? Sections of the Kansas salt mine are used by Underground Vaults & Storage to store everything from Hollywood original prints, movie cuts, and costumes, to hospital records, to secret government information. Located 650 underground in a previously mined section of the salt vein, the huge vault stays a steady 68 degrees and 45% humidity year-round; ideal conditions for storing materials.

On our tour of the salt mine, in addition to historical treasures, we saw pieces of trash – a banana peel, a magazine, a gum wrapper, even half a sandwich – dropped by miners several decades ago, and preserved in almost perfect detail. This amazing benefit of the mineral, temperature, and humidity means that both national treasure and your Big Mac wrapper can be preserved for centuries.

If “you are the salt of the earth”, part of our identity is “preservationist”. Like salt, we store and protect things. We hold beliefs, traditions, habits, and attitudes, passing them on to those around us. It is sobering to me to realize that I have a commissioned role in the values that are preserved and transferred to the next generation to experience and examine and claim. It is not a question of if we are preserving something, but what. If I look into the vault of my inner soul, what things do I find preserved there? What values am I holding onto and passing on to others?

salt preserves

And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NLT)

The Lord knows the days of the upright and blameless, and their heritage will abide forever. (Psalm 37:18 AMP)

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. (Jer. 6:16, NIV)

salt preserves

 

This guest post is written by Rae Schrock, Editor in Chief of Daughters of Promise Magazine. This article first appeared on the Daughters of Promise blog. The third in a series of four, it is used with permission. For more information about the magazine, click here.

Salt – What Can a Mineral Teach us About Living for Jesus? #1 Salt Flavors

salt flavors

salt flavorsI recently had the opportunity to descend 650 feet into the earth for a tour of a salt mine. We saw a chunk of 99% pure salt, glimmering in the light, almost see-through. There were boulders of salt cut out of the cavern, only 4’ across, and weighing many tons. I couldn’t resist going up to one and licking it. This particular mine covers miles, and is still active today. You wouldn’t think salt would be so interesting, but I was blown away by some of the things I learned. It got me to thinking about Jesus’ description of His children as “the salt of the earth”. What does this actually mean? This month, I’ll be sharing four attributes of salt, and how they parallel to our spiritual life.

This guest post is written by Rae Schrock, Editor in Chief of Daughters of Promise Magazine. This article, the first in a series of four, is used with permission. For more information about the magazine, click here.

salt flavors

No. 1 – Salt Flavors

Unlike other seasonings which have a specific taste (think of curry or fennel), and which we add to food to imbibe that unique flavor into the dish, salt does not have a flavor. It is just…salty. So, if salt doesn’t have a flavor to impart, what is its purpose? To bring out the flavor that is already in the dish. Salt brings out the best in food, highlighting hidden flavors and teasing out subtle essences.

How does it work? If you think back to middle school biology, you’ll remember that our tastebuds detect five different flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami (savory flavor). By affecting the chemical compounds of food, salt reduces bitter flavors, which in turn enhances the others. Without the distracting bite of bitterness, the sweet and savory notes of a dish are elevated and the overall flavor of the food becomes vibrant.

Are you getting excited? Do you see a connection forming?
    You are the salt of the earth. And when salt does what it is made to do, it brings out the flavor of everything into which it is mixed. But if the salt has lost its savor (if it refuses to do what it was made to do)…it is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out. The purpose of salt is to enhance the flavor of something other than itself; salt that sits unopened in the cupboard is useless.

God created you to do what salt does. What flavors are you bringing out in the people with whom you mix? How are your words and actions reducing the tang of bitterness and drawing out the sweet and the savory in others? As I posed these questions to myself, I was convicted that many times, as salt in God’s salt-shaker, I have not covered bitterness but added to it. I have fed negativity through gossip, self-pity, or negative speech. I have put others down and failed to call out the best in them through honesty or kindness.

God calls us to be flavor-elevators, inviting others away from the easy – and overpowering – bite of life’s inevitable bitterness and into a symphony of Spirit-filled flavors: peace, joy, hope, contentment.

As God sprinkles and stirs you into the mix of your co-workers at work, your children at home, the checkout at Walmart, or the moms in the school pickup line, come with a cheerful, kind, and forgiving saltiness that brings out the best in those around you.

salt flavors