Yum Yum, Garbage!

The title may have led many of you to rightly know that this is a story about our dog, Jack.  I love this adolescent, sweet, lovable, crazy, energized dog — even when he eats garbage, but oh! how I wish he would end this curiosity!  Whenever we go for our walks, I have to be on my guard, watching every sniff to try and pull him away just before he devours something disgustingly gross!  Garbage!

At home he has clean food bowls filled with good food with proper nutrients.  Even his snacks are healthy.  (Never rawhide!!) His water bowl is kept clean with fresh water throughout the day.  His blankets are washed each week.  He is groomed and bathed.  I even brush his teeth!  In other words — he is clean and eats clean — so why on earth is he drawn to garbage!!!!!

As I look at my dear, crazy, Jack, I love him.  How thankful I am that our heavenly Father loves us, too; even when in the midst of all He provides, at times, we too, choose garbage.  The world is filled with the garbage of temptations that will entice us away from what is holy and good for us.  We look, consider, and like a dog, we sniff and grab a chunk!  Gross!  Nothing this world has to offer can ever come close to the wholesome and delicious food our Father has to feed us.  Still, we take the time to yield to the temptation.  We devour what is not good for us.

Jack often vomits after his frenzy of garbage tasting.  He is then lethargic.  All is not well with him.  It’s the same with us when we succumb to eating garbage.  We lose peace because guilt sets in.  We then lose joy because guilt has stolen it away.  It’s not fun.  It’s not healthy.  It’s not emotionally uplifting. Why on earth do we take on gross habits like a dog and eat garbage!

Jeremiah knew the sheer delight and excitement of eating God’s food.  He tells us in Jeremiah 15:16, “When I discovered your words, I devoured them.  They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Oh Lord God of heaven’s armies.”

Eat garbage — not a good result.

Eat God’s goodness — sheer delight.

Happy feasting!

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

I know the term “comfort food.”  You probably do, too.  When I get frustrated or down in the dumps, my mind pulls from its photo file a snapshot of a golden brown, grilled cheese sandwich and a steaming mug of tomato soup.  In my mind’s eye I have made the first step on my road to recovery from the doldrums.  Second step — preparation.  The smell of the sandwich in the frying pan reaches my nostrils, telling my tongue to wake up because something good is coming!  The red tomato soup simmers, its steam playing havoc with my now rumbling tummy.  My taste buds tease me with longing! All of my senses are on standby for what promises to be well worth the wait!  Third and final step – devour, sit back, enjoy.

I like to dip my grilled cheese into my soup.  As I dip and chew and drink I can feel my body releasing its stress.  The frustrations of the previous moments take a backseat.  Feelings of downheartedness fade — all because of satisfaction to my culinary senses.  The world indeed seems a better place when I’ve had my grilled cheese sandwich and mug of tomato soup.

My spiritual world is a better place, too, when I’ve fed my anguishing heart.   Jeremiah 15:16 tells us, “When I discovered Your words, I devoured them.  They are my joy and my heart’s delight.”  As physical food comforts us, gives us proper nourishment and strengthens us, so does spiritual food for our daily journey.

When we devour God’s Words, we are reminded of truth that sets us free.  We are given guidance to show us the way, we are buoyed up to stand against winds of despair.  We are anchored to God’s loving hold on us.  We are filled with hope in the midst of all odds.  We are nourished so that our eyes see clearly in the fog of our questioning minds that would have us look away from God to what the world offers as hope instead.   Our ears are kept sharp to detect the smallest whisper of God speaking comfort into every crevice of pain and disappointment.

God’s comfort food is always on the stove ready to be served.  Just eat.  It is pleasing and nourishing to all our senses, providing fortitude to replace weariness, determination to press on and upwards, tenacity to relish even the difficulty of the race, knowing a prize of God’s joy and peace awaits!   Devour, sit back, enjoy.