Monday, July 5, 2021

The Wonder of Taste

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"No one craves manna meals forever, But they are waybread and sustenance Through the barren places On the way to the land of promises fulfilled." Cocoons, Chronic Illness, and FoNo

Saturday morning, my first appointed Bible chapter (Joshua 5) described how the Israelites celebrated the Passover together just before beginning the conquest of the land God promised their forefathers. The day after that, they ate the produce of the land. The day after that, the manna stopped. That reminded me of the words above, which I'd written days earlier.

It also moved me to awe. Can you imagine experiencing for the first time the taste of fresh bread, still warm from the baking; the burst of sweetness upon biting into a ripe grape; the savory, crusty tenderness of fire-roasted, freshly caught fish; the rich delicacy of a fig; the tart sweetness of a pomegranate? I can't remember those firsts. Perhaps some remarkable people can. Now consider the wonder of experiencing those flavors and textures for the first time at age 15, or 27, or 39? Unless entrepreneurs from the nations the Israelites passed alongside brought some local produce to trade with the hundreds of thousands of wandering Jews, the conquest generation was experiencing its first hot, fresh bread and roasted grain after a lifetime of manna and that one time with the quail (hashtag food poisoning).

I can't imagine that, but it must have been wonder-full. That Passover in Joshua 5 and the bread the next day were the first fruits of the land of milk and honey God had promised, a whole world of new flavors and textures, the adventure of discovering the delight of favorite foods. Lord, let me today not take for granted through long acquaintance the myriad flavors and foods You have provided!

And when they tasted that bread, the manna stopped. It lasted as many days as they needed it, but the Lord stopped sending it when the time was right for Him to give them something better, like transitioning them from infant cereal to solid food. Lord, make me content and grateful for manna as long as You provide it. When You lead out of the wilderness at the right time, let me not pine for manna but give thanks for the new joys and labors of the next place You lead me. Open my eyes to see and praise You in all the changes and chances of this life, every transition, every call to grow up in Jesus a little bit more. Lord, You know how little I like change. Grant me grace to trust that every transition is a chance to love You more and enter more deeply into Your steadfast love for me.

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