One of my favorite childhood book series is the All of a Kind Family series.  It is about a Jewish family in New York City in the early 20th century.  It is rich in culture, yet full of the same kinds of stories that my own childhood was telling.

One of the chapters in one of the books is about one of the daughters (there are many) who refused to eat what was put in front of her (it was the 1910 equivalent of “yucky”).  Her mother made no fuss, but let her go hungry.  The next meal, the same plate of food was put in front of her; and then again for breakfast the next morning.  With tears rolling down her cheeks, she choked down one bite.  At this her mother whisked the plate away and set down a fresh plate of her favorite breakfast (at this point, I seem to remember, everyone was crying).

Not only is this an excellent example of parental consistency, but it speaks to me, the daughter, as well.  God has been putting the same plate of seemingly unpalatable food in front of me for a long time.  And I’ve refused to eat it; pretended it wasn’t there; pretended to eat it, but stuck it under the edges of the plate; pretended I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t really need food; and worst of all, left the table altogether.  I say seemingly unpalatable because if I never eat, how do I know what it tastes like?

But, here’s the thing.  If I would have eaten it in the first place, I wouldn’t be staring at this days, months, years old plate of food for which it is getting harder and harder to work up any appetite.  But, because He loves me, my Daddy can’t give me another meal until I eat this one.  Because this one is good for me.  And if I refuse to eat it, I won’t grow properly and won’t be able to digest the next meal.

I took a bite today.  I didn’t like it very much.  But, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Here’s what I believe.  If I keep eating this food that I don’t like, I will start to develop a taste for it.  More importantly, I know that my Father sits at the table with me and more than anything, I want to sit here with Him.  And I hope through my obedience in eating the food I don’t like, I will experience a greater hunger and thirst for the Bread of Life, the Living Water.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll take two bites.

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