This one is off the hip…
There is a lot in life we take for granted. I suppose it is because at the core of who we are there is the root of unthankfulness. Thankfulness is the antithesis of taking things for granted. They are opposites. Unthankfulness is the bi-product of a heart that is not grateful to God for all things. Sure we thank God generically for our groceries, but then we grumble at the rain. Out of the same mouth come blessings and curses. These things ought not be.
My grandmother has been a caretaker for the majority of her life. With a mother sick and dying and an absentee father, she dropped out of school, not reaching high school level education, to take care of her mother and sisters, and really to just survive. I’ve sat and listened a few times to her begin to reminisce about the hardship she endured. Later in life she cared for her in-laws who, just like her mother, were sick and dying. She took her mother-in-law into her home and for many years changed bandages, cleaned wounds, changed sheets and bedpans, and cooked meals for someone just like her mother, someone sick and dying. When most cannot stand a simple vacation with their in-laws my grandmother served hers tirelessly, in her home, by the sickbed, until the day they died. Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, I cannot think of a more selfless person.
As far back as I can remember my grandmother has cooked…a lot. She not only cooked lots of meals, she cooked lots of food with those meals. I would venture to say that she has cooked more meals that there are stars in the sky. Aside from moving off to college I cannot think of a single month, and here recently a single week, of my life in which I have not eaten something she has cooked. She is poor but her kitchen is full. Family is always packed in her little kitchen, gathered around the table. It is noisy and sometimes chaotic (my family never lacks opinion on anything and they are not afraid to tell you about it). But the constant in the midst of the chaos is the meal.
Now every meal was not a home run. She has her “go to” recipes that really knock it out of the park – things she will be famous for long past her time here on earth. But what has struck me most is the steady diet of meal after meal, day after day, that has been a supply for four generations now, my young children being latest beneficiaries of grandma’s efforts. Not every meal was great, but they served their purpose. They were food for life.
This got me thinking.
Grandma’s cooking is a lot like a sermon. If you are one of the fortunate ones that has a pastor that labors over God’s Word week after week to feed you with the food that is necessary for your existence, then by all means thank God for that. Be thankful for the meal. Search your heart and ask whether or not you are taking these things for granted. They might not always be the best meals, but if prayed over, digested, and taken for what they are – food for life – it will do your soul good in the promotion of godliness, humility, and thankfulness.
How many times have we come to eat the food of God’s Word prepared for us and taken for granted, week after week, this steady diet that is the very lifeblood of our life in Christ? If grandma’s cooking were are sermon, are you partaking with a thankful heart? Are you saying, “Preach it grandma!” or have you taken this vital part of your life for granted? It just may be that there is a relationship between our attitude regarding our physical bread and our spiritual bread. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Both are necessary and both can very easily be taken for granted.
I look forward to showing up at my grandmother’s house again soon to partake of a meal. Do you look forward to the food prepared for you?
“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul” (Ps. 19:7).