Friday, October 13, 2017

When I'm preparing 5 different meals for tea... again!

For it was I, Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Only test me! Open your mouth wide and see if I won’t fill it. You will receive every blessing you can use! 
(Psalm 81:10, TLB)

Oh how I love the moments when I am able to provide food for my children that they need – and they actually eat! Some weeks it can feel like a rare moment. With so many factors affecting mealtimes from the social aspects of eating; the plate it’s on; the type of cutlery; the textures and colors; the places people sit in; the smells; the levels of anxiety that day; food intolerances; portion sizes; the family dynamics right through to the baggage we each bring to the table about how we feel about eating it’s no wonder it’s a rare moment – it’s a miracle, every time! But wow, what a feeling!

It’s a built in desire as a parent to provide, to meet our kids’ needs, perhaps most especially meeting their vital need of good food that will help them grow and be healthy and resilient in life. It’s the first thing we look to offer as we hold them close when they are born. Perhaps that’s why our feelings around food are so intense. It can be a source of heartache, acute anxiety when it is difficult for whatever reason. We feel we are failing as parents. Equally it’s such a source of celebration when suddenly against the odds it begins to work, we offer food and it’s accepted and eaten, and our child’s body can use it. We have nourished them and we have taken another step towards understanding better how to do it again!

It’s occurring to me that deep in the heart of our Father God is an intense desire to nourish us, to feed us. Many verses in the Bible show us that God provides (and not in a hands off, at a distance way) for all he has made. He knows each one of our unique dietary needs both physically, emotionally and spiritually. He knows just what we need, when we need it, how big a portion, where we need to sit and what plate we can stomach eating off! He knows the type of cutlery that will make it easiest for us. He understands how to support and encourage us through the difficult patches, and has the patience to be in it for the long haul.

This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. (Matthew 6:7-13, MSG)

When my first girl was little she struggled to accept that food was a good thing, there were many days when I would follow her around quietly holding a pot of yoghurt as she played. Over time I learnt to judge carefully the right moments to offer a spoonful, and some days she managed to eat a small pot during the course of the day. Gradually as she got more used to it she began to actually like the taste and texture – if she could eat on her terms – and these little pots became a staple, reliable food I could turn to. It took time and patience, and she needed to take small steps of trust each day.

                • In my busy days, in my worry and weariness have I noticed Father God following me around quietly with the nourishment I need? 
                • Have I accepted his offer?
                • I wonder what the small step of faith and trust is that I need to take today?

Father thank you for your loving care, thank you for your intimate knowledge of my needs, and the way you provide for me to thrive and grow. Open my eyes and heart to all you have to give me today. Amen

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