My eight-month old daughter sat in her high chair banging her little palms on the tray. All the while, she was also singing and moaning along. She was hungry, but she was tired of the finger food I had tried to occupy her with. I handed her a piece of bread and she was at least entertained. She studiously picked apart the bread until it was a pile of crumbs. Then she started into her chant and cadence on the tray again.
I was trying to get supper ready before my husband got home from work and before my 3 ½ year old daughter whined until I was crazy, because she was hungry too! She lay on the kitchen floor and cried that she was too hungry to help me set the table. I tried to reason that if she would help, we could all eat sooner. Hopeless!
I finally got the food into pots and the stove turned on so that I could at least concentrate on the hungry kids instead of supper. I offered a glass of milk to my oldest and she declined very adamantly. She was hungry and wanted to eat FOOD and not a glass of milk! I tried to explain that drinking the milk would help her not to be so hungry, but to no avail. She’d just have to wait a few more minutes.
Meanwhile the cacophony was still occurring in the high chair, only it was getting louder by the second. I had to do something quickly!
I grabbed a jar of baby food and heated it up in the microwave. Then I sat down amidst the toddler’s whines and started to feed the baby. I got a few spoonfuls into her open mouth and then the mouth closed. She put her hands in her mouth and began her sad song again. I knew she was hungry, so I persistently tired to get a few more bites of food into her mouth, but nothing would coax the mouth to open again.
My patience was about gone with two cranky kids! By this time the beets had boiled dry on the stove and the kitchen was full of smoke. Yet another mess to clean up.
Finally I grabbed a piece of the casserole off the table and jammed it through the baby food grinder and tried that with the baby. She loved it! She opened her little mouth like a little baby bird waiting expectantly for the next bite. Finally, peace from the high chair!
After the kids were in bed that night, I thought over the day and tried not to feel discouraged. Was this really the job I had chosen and wanted? Staying home with two little kids? Some days I sure wished I had a job anywhere else, just so that I could walk out the door without a diaper bag or a child attached to my body.
Then I though about how those two little children depend on me for almost everything. The oldest is getting more and more independent, but she still needs me in a big way. And the baby has no idea what she’d do without me!
But I also started thinking about the verse in the Bible that says “I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” Ps. 81:10.
Just as my children trust me to fill them each meal time, so we are to trust God to fill us with His blessings and meet our needs.
God had rescued the Children of Israel from slavery and taken them through the desert to freedom. He provided all their needs. Their sandals didn’t wear out, and their clothes lasted for forty years! They had food every day and He always provided water. He had even given them quail when they whined about missing the meat of Egypt. But still the Children of Israel doubted God at every chance, it seemed.
God had tried for forty years to reach them and help them to realize that they could trust Him. He would conquer their enemies, make their manna last over the Sabbath, help their flocks and herds to produce and multiply. He provided shelter from the sun during the day and warmth from the pillar of fire by night. And yet they complained. The giants were too big to conquer. The food was the same day after day. The water was bitter. Etc. etc. Very similar to the sound of my baby’s sad song.
We think that if we had been there, we would have been grateful, but how many times are we ungrateful for the blessings that God gives us each and every day of our lives? How many times have our clothes lasted because we didn’t have the money to buy new ones? Or our husband’s shoes and suits. How many times have I come home with more blessings than I ever thought I had to give out and share with others?
So many times we are so busy picking apart the bread or the things that we have, that we don’t realize that they are God’s blessings. We may be worried about paying the bills or wondering how we’ll have the money for diapers or clothes or food. But God is ready to fill us with what we need if we will just trust Him to do His job for us. He has promised this so many places in the Bible, and yet we forget so quickly!
We tend to look for blessings in the obvious places and to ignore, or worse, reject the blessings that might come from an unusual or unexpected place. Just like the ravens that fed the prophet by the brook while the drought and famine were raging in the land.
We are often like my baby girl when we complain and worry because we are saying that we don’t trust God to take care of our needs. Granted, my daughter doesn’t have many other ways of expressing herself yet, besides fussing and banging on the high chair, but God has given us the language of prayer. He understands our needs and requests even more than we do ourselves. But we have to open our mouths and our hearts to accept what He is anxious to give us. Otherwise it just sits on our tray and we never even notice how He’s provided for us.
While we’re busy waiting for God’s blessings, we need to write them down on a regular basis, so that we can look back and see that God has been and is always faithful! He never fails at provided for our needs and so often times our wants as well. We serve such an amazingly abundant God who wants to give us so much more than bread and milk! He wants us to live life to the fullest by depending on Him. Only then can we experience the life He has dreamed of for us.