A few nights ago, I cooked meatloaf and salt potatoes for dinner. I’ve spent my whole life in Texas except for two frigid years in upstate New York. During those years I was introduced to salt potatoes. Look them up and thank me later. Yum.
As I called my people to the dinner table, the inevitable happened.
There was eye-rolling.
Even one flat out refusal to sit down at the table and taste the perfectly delicious meal offered for free without condition by their cheerful and also hungry mother.
Please tell me my house isn’t the only one where this takes place.
I swallowed some attitude and reminded my little food critics gratitude was contagious and by the powers vested in me, they were eating it.
As dinner concluded for the night, I looked around the table and noticed there had been a lot of pushing food around each of the three plates I’d so lovingly served just 20 minutes before. One child stood up, walked her full plate over to the sink and dumped it over the edge, completely wasting her portion of food. And y’all, I lost my mind.
I didn’t say any of this, but here’s the highlight reel from my brain at that very moment:
I’m tired of cooking dinner for you people. You’re all picky and ungrateful. You’re slow eaters and wasteful. You have no idea just how much effort goes into planning a meal, preparing it, serving it, and cleaning it up. Not to mention the budget. Do you think food just pops out of thin air . . . because it doesn’t. It’s hard work and it’s every day. Every single day. You people are always needing food. You’re the neediest people I know.
Later that night, when everyone was asleep, I thought about my mental response. How natural it was for me to go straight to anger and frustration because I felt unappreciated. Disrespected. Taken for granted.
And Jesus whispered what about me? to my heart. What about what I’ve done for you?
And I thought of all of the times I’ve been picky and ungrateful. Slow to obey and wasteful. The times I’ve taken for granted the plan and purpose being played out in my life, responding with an immediate rejection because it wasn’t what I had in mind. How I’ve discounted the cost of His love for me. How every single day I’m needy. I’m always needing something. I’m the neediest person I know.
I’ve been all of those things to Him that my children were to me. And I softened immediately.
And I walked away with this truth.
Because of my great love for these children of mine, I will continue to feed them day in and day out for the rest of my life. It doesn’t matter if they’re 45-years-old and just visiting for a holiday. I will be there to feed them. To love them. To provide for their needs. All because of my love and because they are mine. It doesn’t matter if they rejected it yesterday, it’s available today. And tomorrow. And always.
And thankfully, that’s how Jesus loves us too. But He doesn’t love us with the same great love that I love my children. He loves with perfect, unconditional love that never, ever fails. His mental response to us isn’t annoyance or frustration when we respond like children. He doesn’t throw up His hands and threaten to quit providing for us. His provision is gentle.
His provision never tires, and it sustains forever.
So He continues to lovingly feed our souls day in and day out for our entire lives. It doesn’t matter how old we are or how long we’ve been away. He will meet us and feed us. He will love us and provide for our needs. All because of His great love and because we are His. It doesn’t matter if we rejected it yesterday, it’s available today. And tomorrow. And always.