Used to hate 'em – now I love 'em.
Brussels sprouts. (Which, for most of my life I thought were actually called brussel sprouts. But no! Brussels sprouts is correct, for they are thought to have originated in Brussels, Belgium).
I have always hated Brussels sprouts.
And lima beans.
And creamed corn.
I am actually gagging a bit even as I type their names. Evidently they hold the power of suggestion over my gag reflex.
All the other squishy vegetables that I hated as a child? I now love them! Zucchini is my best friend. Butternut squash? A winner! I have even made peace with peas. ("Give peas a chance…")
But not those three.
So, here's the deal, though.
My dad loved these vegetables, and he insisted on my mom fixing them all the time.
ALL. THE. TIME.
And the worst was when my mom got sick, and had to stay in bed. Which never, ever happened. So that's probably why I remember the one time it actually did happen.
And Dad cooked.
And yes, you guessed it. Brussels sprouts galore.
My dad was a big guy, too – 6'3" and over 200 pounds. So, not only did we have the dreaded Brussels, we also had Dad-sized portions.
We sat at that table for like two hours.
"You are not leaving that table until you've cleaned your plates."
"And I'd better not hear the garbage disposer turned on."
Tears and gagging.
I don't know how I survived that night.
I do know how somebody survived – my sister. You see, she had discovered that an old electrical outlet had been removed and papered over in the kitchen nook. And she had wiggled a small opening in said wallpaper, and managed to hide unwanted food in there!
I'm not sure that I can describe the stench after several weeks.
Mom discovered it – thank goodness!
Otherwise, my dad might have punished us by serving Brussels sprouts, with a creamed corn sauce, and lima bean ice cream for dessert.
I'm not really sure what triggered this blog post.
Perhaps a subconscious childhood flashback?
Table trauma? Dinner despair? Food fear?
Maybe someone's delicious blog recipe for Brussels sprouts? (If you have a delicious recipe, I apologize. But, for me, delicious and Brussels sprouts will never, ever fit in the same sentence. Culinary oxymoron for me…)
Regardless, I'm thinking right now about how to derive a devotional from this!!
And, it's this.
Sometimes life is a bowl of Brussels sprouts.
Not cherries – but maybe the pits!!
Things that we don't like at all.
Oh sure, these things might be good for us, but they are not palatable to our innate desire for a comfortable and *tasty* life!
We want an ice cream life, I think.
Sugary and sweet.
Dessert and sodas and candy all the time.
Here's the thing, though. Empty calories will not nourish. Not in real life, nor in our spiritual lives.
So sometimes it's necessary for us to experience things we don't like.
Because sometimes, the very things that we don't like are the very things that we most need.
Testing, refinement, character-building.
God knows this.
He knows exactly what *food* our souls need to survive, and to thrive. And He is absolutely dedicated to "serving this up" in our lives.
Dessert? Sometimes. Fruits and Vegetables? Often.
Yucky Brussels sprouts, lima beans, and creamed corn?
Oh yes, most certainly.
Life is a bowl of Brussels sprouts at times, whether we like it or not…
But dear Lord, I still want a balanced spiritual life. I want to be fed well. So, bring to my life the things that aren't necessarily *tasty* and palatable to the comfortable life I want to live.
Serve up the stuff that is nutritious.
And good for me.
For this one thing I believe with all of my heart…
Father knows best!
Do you see Mr. Lima Bean
right smack dab
in the middle of this photo???
"You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst."(Nehemiah 9:20, NIV)
"All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:3-4, NLT)
"When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty." (Jeremiah 15:16, NIV)
"I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:12, NASB)
"How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalm 119:103, NASB)
"The laws of the LORD are true...They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb." (Psalm 19:9-10, NLT)
"Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness." (1 Peter 2:2-3, NLT)
"'Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you'...'Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' Jesus then said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' They said to him, 'Sir, give us this bread always.'
Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst...I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.'" (From John 6, ESV)
"He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.'" (Luke 22:19, NLT)
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!" (Psalm 34:8, ESV)
"Give us today the food we need..." (Matthew 6:11, NLT)
Do you have a vegetable that you just can't stand? What is it?
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