Except for Rice!

riceYesterday afternoon, I snuck up to my room for 2 minutes of alone time.  I wasn’t planning any Bible reading or napping – just a sit by myself moment in the sunshine.  Of course, as you can guess, my alone time lasted about 30 seconds before I was interrupted.  My youngest came in and asked what was for dinner.  I said that I was still trying to decide between two meals.

My newly turned six-year old  wisely said, “That’s okay.”  Then she wrapped her arms around my neck, put her face close to mine and said, “You always give me everything that is good.”  And then she gave me a big kiss and skipped out of my room.  Just as she reached the doorway, she shouted back, “Except for rice!  I don’t like the rice!”

I am blessed that all my kids are good eaters and there is little left on the plate at dinnertime, but both of my girls don’t like rice.  I can fix it seasoned, plain, Chinese, Mexican, buttery,  smothered in soup, or even hidden in a casserole.  There’s something about the texture they don’t like. 

But as my daughter skipped away, her words struck me and I could hear myself echoing them, with a slight modification.

“God, you always give me everything that is good.”

“Except for  suffering!  I don’t like the suffering!”

My daughters, when presented with a meal that includes rice, complain a little, push it around on their plate, but then they always have to eat their requisite three bites.  Not one bite more makes it into their mouths, but they always take the three bites.

My soul, in the same way, when presented with suffering, has to take it in.  I have to endure some of the suffering but God doesn’t make my life full of only suffering.  He has suffered with me and definitely suffered for me.  He has eaten way more rice than I have.  He only gives me what I can stomach.  Now looking at it on my plate, completely unappetizing, I’d rather just avoid it, but God knows what is best for me and how I am going to be closer to Him because of the suffering.  He fills the rest of my plate with good food – many blessings and people who love me – and even offers me a delicious dessert, with Him in Heaven.

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