I am a person who knows how to survive but not a person who always knows how to feast. My family, like many others, often went through the motions of family celebrations like Thanksgiving but without the heart behind it. Years of hurt would fill the room like a noxious gas, stifling and heavy. Though I did not perceive it clearly as a child, this has affected my ability to truly feast as God intended.
As I grew older, this expressed itself in my pragmatic nature that sought to do the bare minimum when it came to celebrations, not because I did not care, but because I did not have an example to follow. I worried about cost and time and whether the energy was worth my investment. Weighing and balancing every ounce, I brought my own noxious fumes into every celebration–fumes of deprivation and want.
I have prided myself on my efficiency, but I am starting to see that the driving force behind this meticulous calculation is fear.
God Loves to Feast
It is not so with God. The most glaring evidence of God’s lavishness is creation itself. Without any apparent reason, He has sprinkled, no poured, beauty out upon us—many times in places that no human eyes can even feast upon it. We are surrounded by a spectrum of colors and smells and tastes that are downright dizzying in their diversity. These things have no real purpose in creation either–we don’t need to taste food in order to eat it. Yet, we do taste–flavorful dishes that not only meet our physical needs, but also overwhelm us with texture and nuances of flavor.
We don’t really need the variances of color artfully crafted in flowers, on birds, and on the shifting sea. We don’t need the pleasure of brushing hair, holding hands, or warm embraces. These are all things we can live without, in a physical sense. However, without these things we do not live, only survive.
He also demonstrates this in Israel. When God fashioned Israel into a country led by Him, He filled the calendar with feasts celebrating His interventions in their lives. This was part of Israelite worship—intentionally remembering and rejoicing in what God has done and who He is. The people of God are to be a people of feasting and joy!
This was part of Israelite worship---intentionally remembering and rejoicing in what God has done and who He is. The people of God are to be a people of feasting and joy!
The Safe Way Isn’t the Best Way
Even still, some of us walk through each day with measured steps and portions, always controlling, because we fear without our methodical approach that our needs will not be met. It is up to us to make sure it happens. In this mindset, there is not much room for feasting.
This way is the safe way, which is easy to measure in terms of success and failure. But this way is also a box—a box too small to hold the extravagance of God.
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He is Worth It
Psalm 34:8 states, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” I am reminded that to delight myself in the Lord requires that I take the risk to trust that He is worth it.
So today let us start by recognizing the bounty with which God has already blessed us. This intentional gratitude will train our weary hearts in the way of feasting that God intended. Then we can live lives of faith and not of control.