Recently, Aaron and Gary had both been feeling puny. In fact, they had each been tested for COVID. Thankfully, both were negative.
When a family member is sick, I slip into full-on caregiver mode – which means I usually hit the kitchen and start cooking. I did this last Monday, making a huge pot of potato soup. It was way more than the three of us needed but that’s the way I roll.
We sat down to eat that evening, where Aaron declared that he didn’t like potato soup and that he would not eat.
“That’s fine,” I said. “Suit yourself.”
Gary and I proceeded to eat. Finally, realizing that I was not offering another option to him, Aaron begrudgingly agreed to try a small amount. Three bowls later, he left our table full and happy.
“I liked the potato soup, Mom,” he told me later. I just smiled and thanked him, not telling him that I knew he would because he had eaten it before and loved it.
Sometimes Aaron needs to see that I am not going to give in to what he wants. I will allow him to get hungry in order for him to learn that the food I have made is good and that he needs to eat what is offered.
How amazing it was that the passage I read in Deuteronomy 8 happened right after this object lesson!
Moses was reminding the Israelites about the reasons God had told them to obey Him and to remember all the ways He had led them.
And then in verse three:
“He humbled you, and let you be hungry…”
God let them be hungry.
So that He could feed them with the manna that He provided. There was nothing they could do in the desert to feed themselves. He gave them what they needed, and in their hunger…a hunger he allowed…He showed them a great truth.
“…that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.”
I didn’t enjoy seeing Aaron hungry. It would have been easy for me to rush in and offer him something I knew he liked just so he would eat. But if I did, then he would have missed an important lesson: You eat what Mom has provided.
I can look at my life and see that there are many times when I don’t understand the way that God has led or the events that He has allowed.
I ask why. At the time, a decision seemed to be wise and right, but it led to situations that were hard. Sometimes those ongoing situations are the very ones that roll around in my brain in the dark night hours.
But I have learned to push those circumstances aside and to look at God Who loves me without fail. And I know…I KNOW…that the hard times – the times I am humbled and hungry…are by His design and His allowance.
God isn’t being mean when He allows me to experience hunger. He knows that in my hunger I will be more aware of His provision, and I will learn that I do indeed live and eat and prosper only through His food that He provides.
His words to me are manna and life and strength.
And I will come to Him one day, hopefully, full of His Words that I have eaten, and I will thank Him for the hunger that brought me to the place of being satisfied with His goodness.
“How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)