We have so many great ways to enjoy food that we sometimes forget to credit the source. Each time we eat or drink we're given an opportunity to taste God's goodness and thank him for his bounty.
Whether you are enjoying apple cider and olive bread or a fresh green salad, it's not hard to savour the delicious flavours of spring. There's a bounty of produce and preparations to be made for the coming season. Many people still make their own preserves, jellies, jams, and preserved fruits and vegetables. They know there's nothing like the taste of homemade marmalade made from their grandmother's recipe.
Today, we reflect on the food you eat with an extra measure of thanksgiving and an extra appreciation for those who grow, harvest, produce, cook, prepare and serve your meals.
Perhaps it's human nature to boast. Even the most humble among us want to be appreciated and valued for our contribution. We want others to notice what we bring to the group and affirm our unique skills and talents. Sometimes we might help others notice our efforts, either through direct bragging or the way many people disguise it as false modesty.
In either case, we're wanting to take credit for something that we've created, built, selected, achieved, accomplished, or won. With our salvation, there's no way we can take any credit whatsoever. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We can't earn his favour or save ourselves.
Jesus came to do what we could not. Through his sacrifice, we have eternal life simply by accepting his free gift. There's nothing we can do to buy it, or earn it. We are all equal recipients of God's love and grace.
We often think of 'needy" people as being ones in tough situations with nowhere else to turn. Homeless people and those in crisis, caught up in domestic dysfunction or addictions, are obviously in need of help. But the truth i that we are all needy, No matter how hard we work to disguise our needs and appear self- sufficient, we need support, encouragement, and assistance from other people.
Whether it's money for groceries or encouragement to ask for a promotion, our sense of inter-dependency reflects the way God made us. He doesn't expect us to have everything together and take care of ourselves alone. He created us to be in relationships as part of a larger community.
Sometimes we must let our guard down and allow others to see how much we really need them.
Underground springs often provide water for fertile areas even when there's no water present on the surface. Sometimes these areas become bogs or swamps, lowlands where the water bubbling beneath the ground doesn't drain away. Vegetation and animal life flourish there even though it might look surprisingly calm at first glance. Often, change and growth take place even when we can't see it.
The same is true with our spiritual lives. God's Spirit within us provides a wellspring of Living Water to nourish and sustain us. And while we may not feel as though we're becoming more mature or deepening our faith as we walk with the Lord, growth is taking place nevertheless.
Our Father provides everything we need to grow. His Spirit is at work even when we can't see what's going on.