It all started with a phone call from my daughter. “Can we come visit? I need to leave the kids with you so I can keep an appointment.” Now this kind of news generally comes to me with particular delight. I enjoy having my children and grandchildren at the farm.
“Of course, honey. When will you be here?” I responded.
“I really won’t be there much. I will have to leave them with you for four days,” she informed me.
Giving her the thumbs up I said, “Okay, then, let’s do it!”
“And, Mom, their dad will stay with you, too.”
“Hmmm,” I thought with a haunting feeling of fright. “What will I feed three boys and an extra man in the house for four days? Will I be able to keep them satisfied?”
The day quickly came when all of the kids arrived. They entered my home in a flurry of action, hugs and smiles. The boys zeroed in on the collection of toys I have on hand for them to play with. My daughter and her husband made several trips to the car to carry in suitcases and supplies. We gladly received them in the house.
The hubbub and excitement could be felt. We chattered with the adults and played with the children. When finally the nighttime closed in on our cozy little farmhouse, the bouncing little boys and their mom and dad settled down to go to sleep. The household had a sense of peace for a few hours.
Next day, my daughter would be off on her trip, and I would be in charge of feeding two men and three boys for the next four days. Having already done my shopping before my daughter’s phone call, I did not have a plan of set menus on which to rely for so many eager eaters.
Just before bedtime, while my husband left to do his nighttime chores, I pondered the cuisine for the next day. As I did, a Bible verse popped into my head. Matthew 6:26, “Look to the birds of the air, that they do not sow nor reap, nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” This verse underscored that my heavenly Father would feed our guests.
He had the menu figured out. After all, when he feeds the birds of the air, He feeds them with things that are already on hand. That truth prompted me to consider what I had on hand.
Since we have been blessed with a garden in summer, much food is prepared, preserved and sitting on my cellar shelves. Meat from steers and chickens raised by my husband are neatly packaged in the freezer. Eggs are supplied daily by the hens in the chicken house. Fresh milk comes in twice daily from the milk cow residing in our barn. The Lord truly had supplied a generous supply of foods that were “on hand.”
With that encouragement, my culinary anxieties took a back seat. Each day, the Lord provided a new idea of what to set before the menfolk and boys. The challenge I took from that experience is echoed in the Holy Scripture. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”