Soul Food

Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, and hot buttered cornbread. Comfort food any Southern girl can appreciate! These are the foods that remind me I’m home and I’m loved. My daddy pulls on his apron and rolls up his sleeves as he lovingly prepares food that more than satisfies the family’s hunger, it leaves us content and well fed. We sit around the table moaning in pleasure, licking our fingers, and unbuttoning our pants! My daddy smiles as we all brag on what a good cook he is and thank him for this feast! It pleases him to please us! And I can promise you we never leave my father’s house hungry!

I wonder if our Heavenly Father is any different? Didn’t He create the world and all that is in it for us to enjoy? I think my Daddy would be sad if I pushed away what He prepared for me and I went away hungry. Yet that’s what I did for many years. I didn’t recognize the “food” He offered and so I rejected it. I was like a child stubbornly refusing to eat her vegetables. My soul was starving yet the table was full.

One day my Father gently said to me, “Amy, will you receive what I offer? I promise it is exactly what you need though it may not be what you want or expect.” So, I timidly took a bite of my “vegetables” fully anticipating disappointment but instead I discovered that I did like what He had prepared! He didn’t offer me the miracles or emotional highs I had longed for but what He offered did satisfy my soul. Fullness came when I learned to relax in my husband’s embrace, when I watched the dogs run with abandon across the fields, when a sleepy child’s body went limp in my arms, when I imagined God singing “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” and whenever I gathered around a table enjoying food, conversation, and laughter with friends or family.

My friend, are you hungry? Not for comfort food but for “soul” food that will truly comfort? Will you pause for a moment and consider what feeds your soul? What are those moments when your heart feels happy, satisfied, content, or overflowing with thanksgiving? Maybe it’s gazing at a breathtaking sunrise or sunset? Enjoying the breeze on your face, the vastness of the ocean, or grandness of the mountains? Maybe it’s music, dancing, or laughing with friends? Maybe it’s the way the snow sparkles when the sun shines on it or the beautiful colors and varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers? Our Father offers abundantly more than we can imagine!

Daddy sets a table before us and rings the dinner bell, “Come, eat, enjoy! I want you to have and enjoy life to the full!” Now, let’s eat!

Dad in apron

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