Taste and See

I don't plan ahead well so meal planning is always a struggle.  Most days my prayer life consists of thanking the Lord that each meal somehow came together since usually around 11:30am I'm staring in the pantry and fridge just hoping some semblance of a meal will magically come together.  Everything usually turns out just fine and I remind myself that Jesus told us not to worry about what we will eat!!  (Matthew 6:21-32) But I do have to admit, our weeks run more smoothly if I can plan ahead and at least have an idea of what each day's food choices may look like.

I don't think it's a coincidence that this past week when I actually planned out the meals and went grocery shopping (well, did the grocery pick up) accordingly that God revealed Himself and pointed me to scripture and resources that helped point everything about food back to Christ.

Follow along with me...

1) I keep journals and try to write out thoughts about what I learned through a particular reading.  Most of the pages have scribbles from little fingers and half way completed sentences, but journaling none the less!  I was looking for a Bible verse and was flipping through my journal when I saw where I wrote "Taste and See" regarding a passage I read in Matthew. (Matthew 5:13-16)  The passage is actually about believers being the salt and the light of the earth, but when I was meditating on the verse God revealed the passage in Psalms 34:8 where it says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good..." It hit me that through believers, the world can TASTE that the Lord is good because we are the SALT.  And they can SEE that the Lord is good because we are the LIGHT.  Oh my goodness, it literally just gives me chills and brings me to tears writing that y'all.  

2) So, anyway, later in the week having those thoughts about tasting and seeing in my head, I was scrolling through a list of podcasts to listen to while doing laundry and saw one about "Taste and See".   I naturally chose that one and it was about how the gospel is intertwined through food.  She explained how food is used in so many parables and also how if you look at the life of Jesus, He was usually leaving a meal, having a meal or on his way to eat a meal or multiply a meal.  So basically, Jesus was a foodie.  

3) Then, it hit me that during church at Elam that morning, the pastor talked about how Jesus had supper at Levi, the sinner's, house.  (Mark 2:13-17) He was a tax collector, someone different, despised in the community even, but Jesus showed him love, shared a meal with him and invited him to be one of His disciples.  Levi is actually known as Matthew - and listen, now - Matthew wrote one of the gospels and the passage I referred to earlier about believers being the SALT and the LIGHT.  He was saved over having a meal with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and he is urging other believers to share that same hospitality that Jesus showed him.

Stay with me, it gets even better, y'all. 

4) So, Sunday evening, I was scrolling through my email and saw an email from Desiring God with this subject line:  How God sets your table.  Y'all.  Seriously?!  God is so good.  The author explains, instead of eating just to make the hunger go away, "what if we ate to try to taste and see and enjoy the God who feeds us?"

5) Finally, during our ladies bible study at Elam today our passage was Philippians 2. And GUESS what verse is buried in the words, "That in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world."  

I'm still praying over how God wants me to apply these ideas.  But I know He wanted me to share them here.  There's a reason His word didn't say SMELL and LOOK.  Can you smell salt?  Nope.  Can you smell how it enhances the flavor of food? Nope.  SMELL is sometimes deceiving - something may smell badly (i.e. collard greens, cabbage, boiled eggs) but they actually taste pretty good!  Have you ever looked at something, but didn't actually see it?  How many times have I asked my kids to look for something that was so easy to find, but they didn't actually LOOK hard enough to SEE it?! 

Wow, this was a lot.  Ok, so I guess here are some of my take aways and challenges for you and myself.

1) Believers, be the salt, so that others can taste that the Lord is good.  Share details about what God has done.  Be so good and loving to others that they don't just smell it, but can actually taste it.  Be the light, so that others can SEE that the Lord is good.  Jesus is the ultimate light, so all we have to do is reflect Him in all we do.  

2) Share meals with people who are different than you.  Sit at the long community table at that restaurant.  Invite your older or younger neighbors over for dinner.  Love first and never judge.

3) Share meals with like-minded believers. Send meals to those who are struggling or who are celebrating.  Use mealtime to be intentional about encouraging your own family and other believers in their walk. Supporting other believers is still gospel work:  "Let your light shine before men, so that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matt 5:15)  

4) Worship and be thankful in each and every bite.  Whether it's that scrumptious dish you've planned on cooking all week or the potatoes and toast you threw together at the last minute, see God glorified through food and the earth He made to create that food.  "He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man." Psalm 104:14

If you need a good place to start - try my Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas (approved by my Mexican-restaurant-loving husband) and plan out your meals for the week with my good friend JoAnna Gaines's (I wish) meal planning printable.

Speaking of, I haven't planned my meals for this week yet, so let me get to it, especially since meal planning has a whole new meaning now.



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