Our refrigerator has been making an odd noise off and on for quite some time. The noise is something like a moany whine. I hadn’t voiced what I noticed when one of the girls confirmed my thoughts by bringing up the subject. There was nothing we could do about the noise but listen and shrug. Shortly after our conversation, we went on a cooking binge and our frig was full of leftovers. In fact, it was much fuller than it had been in quite some time. Leave it to my middle child, the comedian, to point out that the frig had been making all of that noise because it was hungry; now that it was full of food it was quiet once again. Oddly, it was.
Food is quite a serious matter in our house. Pastor learned that the hard way. A while ago, when he had taken on some extra chores at home so his wife could pursue her studies, I felt moved to take him meals. They were random lunches, here or there, dropped at the church office. I don’t know, I just think food is a balm of sorts and it seemed to me that a man keeping his full-time job and also taking on more responsibilities at home could use some balm every now and again. One day I took him a meal that included my homemade macaroni and cheese.
“Do not tell the girls that I gave this to you. It’s one of their favorite dishes and they hate to share it.”
Being true to male form, he did not listen and came to thank me for the lunch after Sunday service. He specifically mentioned the macaroni and cheese. My youngest’s jaw dropped. She laser beamed us with her baby blue eyes and burned through me.
“You mean you gave him our macaroni and cheese?!”
I wasn’t angry. I consider it a badge of sorts that my family thinks my cooking is so good that they don’t want to share it with anybody. Frustrating sometimes, yes, but nevertheless, complimentary. Neither was I embarrassed. I warned the pastor; he didn’t heed me. Truth be told, I was slightly amused by the emotions parading across his face at her sudden outburst.
After some seconds of gathering his thoughts, Pastor said, “Wow. You weren’t kidding. I thought you were kidding.”
“When it comes to food, there’s no kidding in our house,” I said.
In Pastor’s defense, I have a sarcastic sense of humor at times so it isn’t surprising that he thought I was kidding. And there’s nothing wrong with offering a polite compliment to the cook, just don’t offer it in front of the girls–especially when homemade macaroni and cheese is involved.
This attachment to food made me think of something Jesus said in rebuke to satan.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
That scripture coupled with our humorous little “incident” got me to thinking about heeding certain warnings. Verses in Deuteronomy chapter 6 came to mind.
“So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land…to give you large and beautiful cities…houses full of all good things…wells…vineyards…trees which you did not plant–when you have eaten and are full–
“then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out…from the house of bondage. You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him…You shall not go after other gods…You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God…And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land…
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children….”
I don’t find it coincidental that these verses are what’s tripping through my mind during one of the biggest food fests known to those of us here in the United States of America. Most of us are going to be popping buttons in the near future as we roll from the Thanksgiving table to the New Year’s celebration. I do find it sad, though, that we have gone against the Word. We are blessed to be in one of the richest, most beautiful, self-sustaining lands known to the world. And what have we done? We have become fat, ungrateful, and complacent. We not only have forgotten Who created us, we kicked Him out. And then we stand around and scratch our heads wondering why the division, the contention, and the outright hatred among a people who are supposed to be “one nation under God”. When Love is scorned, hatred abounds. When Life is squashed, death runs rampant. When Truth is banned, lies eat away like a cancer. Darkness spreads like a disease. What, then, is the answer? From where do we get our hope?
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
America is not suffering from a political problem. We suffer due to our selfish sin problem. And the problem lay at the Church’s door: “if My people…” Not the Republicans, not the Democrats, but My people. We do not love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength or we would not treat one another the way we do. True love sacrifices its own selfish desires. If someone says they love Jesus but vote for candidates who are pro-abortion they have voted contrary to God’s Word.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; Before you were born, I sanctified you.” Jeremiah 1:5
It’s not enough for my children to know my word, they must heed it. Should Father God expect any less from us? Disobedience sows fields of woes and what we’re seeing is a bitter harvest of our own making. We have not injected ourselves into our nation. We kept silent while God got the boot, students were taught apes are their uncles instead of Adam, and babies are killed in the womb. Eventually our nation became enlightened to the “fact” that there are not absolutes so here we are in an absolute free-fall. What did we do to stop it? For the most part, nothing. I don’t think we believed America would ever partake of such utter darkness. But she has, and now we’re drunk on it.
Oddly, the thing that gives me the most hope is the extent of the darkness. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t had a power outage. Grab a flashlight, light a candle and look how such a little light lights up the room. I have a personal belief that the darkness is so thick and gross because our enemy sees the Light just beyond the hill and he is doing everything he can before our Redeemer says, “Enough!” It’s a soft glow now but Jesus comes closer daily. I tell you, that for those of us who keep the faith and follow the Word, God is going to cut loose in our lives in wonderful ways that we never could have imagined. But we must hold on. We must do as God has said: humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. Further, don’t curse the darkness, light a candle. Let’s do what God has called us to do. All of us have a purpose. He formed us, He knows us, He will equip and strengthen us. We must at least try.
I know you’re weary and maybe even afraid for yourself and for our nation; I have felt that way myself. But please, let’s not give up. God cannot lie: if we will then He will. Stay in the Light. Let’s hold on and sing our praises all the louder. And please, please join me in offering up thanksgiving and prayers for the United States of America. Despite our current condition, I love America still and I will fight for her on my knees and whatever way I can. Will you?