Praying for fruit – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, pears, apples, oranges and bananas. Praying for veggies – kale, spinach, beets, zucchini, squash, ginger, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Here describes the life of a juice fast when you don’t have money to buy any food and your husband has committed to an indefinite juice only fast.
The commitment is to God, not man. God knows what we need before we ask, so we wait in hope. Trusting the God that owns the cattle on a thousand hills, will provide us the food we need for another week. Maybe it seems audacious to assume God will provide fruit and veggies, but why wouldn’t He if He called a man to such a thing.
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – Hebrews 13:20-21
If God can bring His Son back from the dead, why would we question His ability to equip us with everything good for doing His will. But we do. On Friday, eighteen extra people stopped by, fourteen of which needed to eat lunch. The bananas, the tangerines and most of the apples disappeared, gone into the hungry bellies of little kids and tired mamas. And that was the right thing to do.
As I prepared a Friday juice lunch, I counted what we had left, about two meals. There I was at the kitchen sink, cleaning the juicer, and praying “please God send us some fruit and veggies.”
Then, a friend opened the back door, ready to give in abundance from the abundance given to her. In walked a handful of apples, limes, a sweet potato, cantaloupes and some spinach. A few more meals covered in this juice fasting trust.
Did the people following Moses want to trust God daily for the manna He consistently provided? Probably not. They probably preferred to have some stored up, wanting a little control, with the knowledge they could survive another week, not just one more day. Isn’t that more how we live? We want to know that we have enough money for the bills we have this month, and enough in reserve for the next six months, in case something happens. We want our kitchen to have enough for several meals, not one meal. Many of us have overflow in a cabinet or a freezer. We could probably survive on what we have for a month, maybe longer. But what if??
What if what? What are we afraid of?
We are afraid of waiting, of feeling hunger, of experiencing want. Maybe we are afraid we will have to eat something we don’t like or even something that has gone bad because we’ve stored it too long. It could be pride, the thought that our parents may stop by for a surprise visit or our best friend from primary school. Irrational really, but real. We like control and term it “prepared.”
What if we played a trust game with our family and lived on the food in our homes and just watched how long it would last. Maybe more than a month, maybe some of us could make it half a year. Yea, we would have to eat random things together, and maybe some of it wouldn’t be our favorites, but Jesus would sustain us with the can of fruit cocktail, the bag of popcorn and the green beans.
Why do we eat? Is it more than sustenance? Does food provide some comfort for us for a few moments? Or is it some experience to get what we want? Is our consumption from selfishness, the desire of special treats, variety and taste. Is food an idol or an escape? Do we have other motives besides living?
Food seems so simple, but often it becomes complex too. We find ourselves grouchy when we are out of milk or the lettuce seems a little wilted or the chips are stale. Our nastiness can be exposed in meal moments, in the need to prepare when we want to eat right now, and when we realize someone else ate what we wanted. Oh that it would have no hold on us, that I wouldn’t keep looking for something “I feel like” and that my heart would be full of gratitude for what is. Maybe this has never happened to you, but I’ve opened the fridge, full of food, and said, “we have nothing to eat.” The real is… we didn’t have what I wanted.
Contentment. A longing in my heart for more of it. Contentment to use the little square napkins when we are out of toilet paper, because God did provide, that was the toilet paper. Contentment for the waiting and praying for the money for the kids school test, found in the console of our vehicle, the night before the registration deadline. God brought the manna.
How does He do it? There are millions of us and somehow He hears my prayers and all those others who are praying at the same time. My mind is blown every time I think about it. He hears me and He loves me. He hears you and loves you too. Ahhh, that’s good!
He gave me life today. My heart beat without me thinking about it. My eyes blinked incessantly, as He intended, and I never noticed. When I stood up to walk, my legs moved and I didn’t think to instruct them. My kidneys worked and told my mind when I needed the restroom. My fingers typed and my hand held a mug. My ears worked today and I heard music, stories from friends and laughter. I never considered that today I might not hear or taste or feel. For another 16 hours my body was awake and it all functioned without me considering if it would.
Friends came over tonight and they wanted juice. So we shared. Others asked for oranges and we said sure. How could we not? We have enough for tomorrow and the next day too. The fruit and veggies keep multiplying. Enough to share the rutabaga, kale, kiwi, strawberries, apples, oranges and lime.
Nothing about me has mastered this trusting. If God can do food, He can handle money too. But money manna, dang that still scares me, even after ten years. It can feel so foolish, maybe as foolish as it sounds to trust for food. Yet, He did the money manna so many times this past week too. When I woke up at 4am in a panic, He wasn’t finished. When the check made it to the bank only 30 minutes before it closed, He never fretted, that was only me. Call me an Israelite, I’m still scared of the “give us this daily bread” phrase in that prayer Jesus taught us to pray. He’s talking about trusting for the manna, trusting for today. Oh humanity get out of the way.
One thing I know, every time it’s last second and He does it, I’m reminded our life is for His glory and not ours. Please God receive all the glory because it’s all Yours. We are powerless, with nothing but a desperation for You to do what we can’t, which has proven time and time again to be everything. We cannot sell the next project, buy the next apple, pay the next bill. We really cannot. Without Jesus we are nothing and we have become fully convinced that Jesus is everything.