March 18

All look to you to give them their food in due season; when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. Psalm 104:27-28 

You have tasted that the Lord is good. I Peter 2:3 

Anybody else have food and food shopping on their minds these past couple of weeks? Many people are currently focused on where to get food and how much to get to have on hand. Some buy up great quantities of everything, others are buying for their needs for a couple weeks. Many cannot afford to buy in quantity or have no place to store the food if they could.  I went food shopping this morning. Cub stores (and others) asked that the hour from 6-7 AM be limited to us “older” people and many of us were there. Most shoppers looked to be doing their weekly shopping, not getting large amounts of anything. 

Where does our food really come from? Psalm 104 is a hymn to the Creator; it lists practically everything that God has created from birds and grass, to supplying water and caring for sea creatures. It reminds us that all food comes from our Lord and the world He created. I can imagine the creatures gathering what is provided and using all that they gather. There is also the powerful image of God’s hand opening and sending good things. These good things will fill us up. Not only fill us up as this translation says, but we will be “satisfied” with good things.  (NIV) We don’t have to keep eating after we have had our fill, we can be satisfied.  There is enough for all, if we share. 

In I Peter we read of a “taste.” The author is seemingly referring to the “first taste” of the salvation we have from God. The note in the NIV Bible says “Since this taste has proved satisfactory, the believers are urged to long for additional spiritual food.” This is not the actual food that we can eat, but maybe there is some relationship here. As we grow into our spiritual life we are to become more like what God intended us to be, following the example of Jesus. We see our neighbor’s needs and help fill them. We listen and communicate with those who are in need of a friendly voice, or just some conversation. 

One example: Yesterday I received an email from Beacon, the organization that our Families Moving Forward is part of, about the needs of the homeless. More money will be needed each week as they support the shelters they run. Today, not even 24 hours later, there was a second e-mail thanking the many people that had responded with funds, many within minutes of the request.  We can all share the taste of goodness and salvation that we have received with those around us. 

Faithful Provider, you give food to us in such abundance. Body and soul are fed and renewed daily. We are grateful for your provisions, and your love for the hungry. You know our needs even before we ask for anything. Forgive our obsession with saving for tomorrow and ignoring our neighbor’s needs today. May we find peace and joy in sharing your generous gifts with others now. Amen 

Chris Gabel