There was a point in time, in our recent cultural history, where we as women took so much pride in our competency with what we could create with our two humble hands. A hand stitched garment, a meal cooked from scratch without the expedited 'convenience' of modern technology.
Somewhere in our technological advancement, our integrity of a job well done has been compromised by our ability to do it faster. When was the last time you prepared a meal and took the time to enjoy the process? It is a rare occurrence for me as well. With mouths to feed, faster and easier does seem better. But the love and joy that I put into a well planned meal, even gourmet (ish) brings so much more than just nutrition to the table. There is a deep consideration, a deliberate focus as you bring flavors into harmony and present your food with flourish.
It's a different dining experience than if you slap chili mac in a bowl and throw it on the table. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a bowl of chili mac... it's not about gourmet vs. a boxed dinner choice. You can put the same passion into boxed macaroni as you would a five course meal; I know chefs may dispute this, but stay with me please!
It's about the fruit of the spirit. What are you feeding your family? Or yourself? Frustration, bitterness, impatience? This is just another chore for me to check off in the laundry list of life... It's on my list of "have-to's", not "want-to's". Joy certainly has difficulty raising it's head when you have a hungry toddler squawking at you.
What if you can find the joy lost in those moments? As you fill your pot of water to boil, know that it is your culinary skills that keeps your family nutritionally sustained. The dishes that you lovingly fill with food brings such a comfort to your children; they know they are loved. It doesn't matter to them that their meals are served on paper plates or fine china... you love them enough to see their needs met, there is a magical quality in that.
This joy is the joy of the Father. It's the moments between the miracles where our hearts and souls are sustained. In keeping with the culinary metaphor, miracles could be like chocolate cake, amazing and perfect, but we need more than cake to survive. We need the meals in between, moments of grace, mercy and forgiveness. These tidbits of fullness are so sustaining and miraculous n their own right. It's the moments between miracles where our souls grow and are healed.
Miracles are the catalysts where our eyes are opened and the moments between are when we process and give over to God control of our self-righteousness so that He fills us with anticipation for the next miracle. God is our food. He feeds us with the Spirit and in Him we are filled.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
John 4: 32-34
32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." 33 Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?" 34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.