OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #348 Coffee is Proof of God’s Love
Food has always been the gathering point of my family life. Every major holiday, birthdays, graduations, good times, and even bad times saw us gather somewhere for a meal. We sometimes joke that we have barely finished one meal and we are planning the next! I love to eat and it has only been through the constant effort of exercise that I don’t weigh much, much more.
Every morning I have a cup of my favourite coffee – Sumatran dark roast Swiss water process from Java Blend in Halifax. I am by no means a coffee snob - I happen to actually like instant coffee, for instance - but I know what I like most. One morning while enjoying that first sip, I commented to Jan, “Coffee is one more proof that God loves us!” I startled myself, thinking perhaps that I had just committed some sort of blasphemy by trivializing God’s grace. Or, at the very least, was I being shallow, to put too much stock in a beverage? I pondered this for some time.
My contemplation led me to the thought that God didn’t actually have to add flavour, variety, texture or colour to our food. Think about it – we only need calories and nutrients to survive. The calories are for the energy, and the nutrients replenish vitamins and minerals. The rest is extra, not strictly necessary.
So why did God do it? It is possible that one of the reasons was to bring variety to our menu. Think about how nice it is to eat different kinds of foods? I love pot luck meals for this very reason. I sometimes pick out foods at the store, even if I don’t know what they are, just for the sake of trying something new. The seasons bring different foods, also. Strawberries in the summer… I am getting hungry!
Think about the complaining that God’s people did in the wilderness when they only had manna for food. They thought it would be better to go back to slavery in order to eat fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. (Numbers 11:5) I don’t think many of us would really be all that different.
Is it possible that God also wanted to delight us? Think about discovering a new flavour, and the joy it brings. Who hasn’t found a new ice cream and wanted to finish the whole tub, or is that just me? There are spices that transport me to another place and time. Summer savoury takes me to my mother’s place, dill to my grandmothers, curry to friends. On and on I could go. Ever have a cold, and not be able to taste very well? Takes the joy out of eating, doesn’t it? My point exactly.
I don’t want to say it too lightly, but flavour is indeed proof of God’s love for us. Not on the same plane as Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. But proof nonetheless that God did something for us He did not need to do. He did not need to add variety, flavour, colour, or texture, but He did. And I think He did it to bless us and bring us delight.
So, the next time we sit down to a meal to say grace, perhaps we might be even more thankful. Not only for the fact that we have daily food, as some in our world struggle with getting enough food. But also for the variety and taste of it. We really, truly have a lot to be thankful for.
I hope this helps. Be on fire.
OnFire is a letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis. Married to Jan, Troy is a chaplain and has more than 20 years of pastoral experience. This letter published Apr 24, 2017. *New International Version. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or reply, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Blog located at www.onfireletter.blogspot.com