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I was barely high enough to peer over the shiny, yellow, laminate countertops in my grandmother's immaculate kitchen, but it was homemade-noodle making day, and I was overjoyed as I took my rightful place next to her on a worn, red, metal foot stool.
"Always make sure the eggs are at room temperature," she reminded me as we took turns cracking them into the bright blue earthenware bowl.
The smells of the wonderfully cooked Italian food, glorious food, lovingly prepared by my tiny grandmother in her homespun kitchen are still unmatched today, and those memories remain some of my most cherished!
Being from a large Italian family, all of my favorite and important memories involve food. Banquets and feasts were the centerpiece of every holiday, birthday, and simple Sundays. My grandmother wanted to feed everyone. She loved people with food. Making others happy with food gave her joy. She would bring food to all her friends, cook for those who were sick or just in need of a little TLC. She was always prepared. To her, it was a crime to not have a freezer full of "just in case" lasagnas and cannolis for company!
I believe this is a "no getting around it" inherited trait of just being Italian, at least in my family. I too live to feed everybody and everything. The ducks on the lake outside my home know that all too well.
To me, there would be no worse feeling than to not be able to provide food for my family or being unable to feed my children.
I thought about the children of Israel. While they were endlessly wandering in the wilderness, they needed to fully rely on God to provide food (manna) for them each day. They were not allowed to take any more than a single day's portion, and if they did, it would rot immediately. There would be no "just in case" food, no "what if God forgets to send it tomorrow" food! They had to have blind faith in what they did not see and wholeheartedly trust they would be able to go out each day and collect fresh food for their children. They had to believe a new day's supply would be sent to nourish them by God from Heaven.
They had to trust that God would provide!
In, Jesus asked, "What do you want me to do for you?"
God is so simple in His love for us. He just wants us to trust him. He asks us to tell him what we need. He says we have not, because we ask not.
By commanding the Israelites to not collect any more food than they needed for one day, God was asking them to totally rely on His merciful grace—the grace that can only come from Him. His grace is sufficient to take care of all we need on any given day.
In(NIV), the Lord told Paul,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul's response was to "boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."
Sometimes we look ahead—and the mountains we face and the trials and storms that engulf us, seem overwhelmingly impossible to manage. But then God shows up again with a daily helping of His amazing grace and a fresh batch of heavenly manna and says, "Trust me, we will get through this together today, I will be back tomorrow and we will handle tomorrow then."
When we are weak, He is strong!
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25 (NIV)
Copyright © 2014 Nina Keegan. Used by permission.
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