Can I just point out that we are obsessed with food?
On the one hand, we love to eat delicious food. On the other hand, we don’t want to eat ourselves to death. We want to serve our family nutritious meals, but we also want to stay in our grocery budget.
Ask anyone what their definition of ‘healthy’ food is, and you’ll get some strong opinions. Grocery shopping and cooking meals for your family is hard work. For awhile I felt nearly paralyzed to do this, precisely because I was always trying to find a way to eat like I wanted to, while staying in our food budget. I would find myself staring at the carrot section in the grocery store, being annoyed that there is a an entire SECTION (!!!) for carrots, and trying to decide if the organic carrots were worth the extra $1.
Let’s just remind ourselves some basics about food. And yes, I realize there are actual food allergies. This post is not addressed to you. It’s to your average Jane who is just trying to do a good job of feeding herself and/or her family.
Food is a Good Gift From God
Food is a good gift from God and he has given us plants and animals to eat. After the flood God reminds Noah “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.” Genesis 9:3 We are free to enjoy meat.
We are to be thankful for the food God provides, even if it is hot dogs. God provided manna for the Isrealites in the wilderness and rather than receive it thankfully they “put God to the test by asking food according to their desire” (Psalm 78:18). They whined and were sick of eating the same thing day after day and were dreaming about the good food they enjoyed in Egypt.
God became angry with them and made them eat meat until they were sick and some died. So, really, check your heart if you want to get whiny about what is in your refrigerator or that you can’t seem to find fresh guava fruit at your grocery store.
Don’t Put Your Hope in Food
Don’t put your hope in food. We are to serve and trust God for our salvation, not our diet. This may seem like a no-brainer, but really, do you spend more time trying to proclaim the benefits of raw milk, fermented vegetables, locally-hand-inspected-grass-fed-meat, cave-man only food than you do the benefit that Christ died for our sins? Do you look to cod liver oil or spirulina rather than faithful prayers for the health and well-being of your children? Are you uncomfortable in some physical way? Where do you go—researching online how you can adjust your diet, or to the elders of your church to pray over you?
The focus of meals at your house should not be about providing a perfectly well-balanced, organic, artisan, home-grown, hand-shucked feast. Proverbs 17:1 reminds us “Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife.” God is pleased when you feed your family cheerfully. So, some days it will have to be Easy Mac N’ Cheese with a smile rather than a grass-fed organic roast with a sour face.
Have Faith to Eat
Finally, have faith to eat. Really, go ahead and eat. Food has always come with actual risks to health. This should be a reminder to pray before your meal that this food will not kill you. Don’t let idealistic preferences keep you from fellowship with others. Don’t run from church pot-lucks because they are filled with dishes of cream of mushroom soup, trans fats, corn syrup, sugar. Have faith to eat with thankful hearts and rejoice in the fellowship over Doritos.