In our house, the birthday kid gets to choose the menu for their birthday supper. We've basically always done it that way, now we just do it more often. Luke chose fish tacos, green bean casserole, and cookie cake for his birthday supper last month.
Fish tacos, people. He loves them. The only other time I've made them while we've lived here, it was at his request and I cleaned out the freezer supply of Tilapia. I was preparing my grocery list and I decided to check the food room before going shopping, just in case.
What's this food room, you say?
The Food Room looks like the stock room of a grocery store and it's full of donated food and stuff. Like, we hardly ever buy meat because we use what we find there. I've become a master at making a meal out of what I find. It's a personal challenge for me. How much free food can I feed them?
I regularly go there with a list of things I know we need in my head and I regularly find those exact things. And weird stuff, like children's multivitamins or tylenol, probiotics, school snacks for the littles, the exact number of cans of Rotel I was about to go buy, a specific kind of hair conditioner that one kid needs. Really, it's mind blowing. Dave and the kids, all of them, are probably sick of hearing my fascination with the food room. It's always what I name as my best part of the day at supper that night.
So, we went to the food room and we collected a really nice haul, cereal, Pop-Tarts, hygiene products, Italian bread crumbs(!), but the meat freezers were looking pretty sparse. I knew the chances of me actually finding Tilapia for fish tacos were slim because I've only ever seen pre-breaded Tilapia there and that was months ago. Just as we were preparing to leave and I had resigned to buy the fish, the man who picks up the donations started unloading his van.
He had 5 lbs of Tilapia.
Do you know how much I need to feed 12 people fish tacos?
As my pastor would say, I nearly had a spell.
And now Dave really thinks I'm with obsessed with the food room. He said, "It's the best part of your day again, isn't it?" Yes!
But I told him, it's God's most consistent way that He shows me that He hears me. I talk to Him all the time and He answers me all the time but it is never more clear than by provision. And a consistent pattern of providing wierd and trivial things just about does me in. I get so giddy about how much God must love me to send me a bottle of evening primrose oil and five pounds of fish.
When I think about the process that happens to stock our food room, He blows my mind again. It might seem magical when five pounds of fish shows up right when I need it, but it doesn't happen by magic. People make the donations that stock the food room. People bring meals to families when there is illness. People pay the bill to keep a neighbor's power on when he needs help. Obedient people are the hands and feet of God's provison.
"If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?" James 2:15-17
So I go to the food room and I take my fish and my vitamins and my weird hair products and I vow again to be so obedient that someone else will see God's work in their own life.