God’s Goodness

Salad. Beautiful, colourful, fresh, nutrient-rich salad.

I feel really blessed in life. Wanna know why? Because I actually love salad. Like, it’s not a job to eat it like many feel when they’re on a some type of diet. I drool over salad. I salivate over salad. Though I love to cook, I’m not a fan of chopping for so long to make the salads…seriously, it takes a lot of chopping! I kind of wish my choice salad of the day would just appear on my counter at my demand.

Unfortunately, the healthier you eat, the more work. It becomes an integrated part of your life, with much thought and effort put into it. When you come to realize that your health and well-being are more important than the feelings of hesitancy to want to spend so much time preparing – scouting out recipes, planning, shopping, chopping, blending, sautéing, measuring, mixing, and worst of all, cleaning! – you’ll do it and not only will you do it, but you’ll enjoy it. Because every ounce of time, effort, prep work, and money that goes into the health of your body and mind is an investment. One that returns to you in abundance.

So I chop. I chop because I want to eat fresh veggies. I chop because it’s good for me. I chop because I feel one with the Creator of the food I eat. I chop because God made these beautiful and tasty foods, and I want to enjoy His creation. I chop because I love salad!

I also reeeeeeeally like eating. I mean, food is amazing. I’m sure you’d never be able to tell, with this blog and all! 😉

But wow. That God in His goodness and generosity would give us, human beings, so many delicious flavours, as well as taste buds to richly enjoy a multitude of flavours just again leaves me in awe of Him. He’s so good and giving and worth all of our love.

The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. Psalm 145:9

Some synonyms for compassion are fellow feeling, care, concern, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, tolerance, kindness, and charity to name a few.

Ever think about God like this? He’s the one who created you. He created you with joy and love! He showers His compassion on us through so many endless ways, and you start to see them more and more as you look around and become aware of Him. Because of His sweet love, sensitivity to us, and desire of good things for us, He has given us the gift of taste buds and the ability to taste what seems like an endless array of foods and food combinations. He provides, and He lavishes His love on us in abundant ways.

O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. I chronicles 16:34

When you really come to know Him, and have a posture before Him of love, adoration, reverence, and humbleness, you come to realize how amazingly blessed we are that He is who He is. That the glorious God of all that exists didn’t have to have His attributes, His character, His nature, His divine beauty and His faithful love. When one comes to realize this, all the things in life once taken for granted becomes radiant in front of our eyes, as we see the Creator and His hand in everything that exists. He didn’t have to give us the ability to enjoy so many things on this earth. But because of His goodness, we are gifted by Him in so many ways.

For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:28

A beautiful truth is that all of God’s kindness is intended to turn people towards Him in love and adoration. It’s intended to bring His created people into a loving and fulfilling eternal relationship with Him. One that satisfies even more than all of the beauty we experience in our lifetime. If you look closely, you can see His passionate pursuit and divine wooing of us through His endless and generous lovingkindness.

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Romans 2:4

God isn’t mean and controlling. His love literally consumes and he gently and lovingly and sweetly wants to pull us into Him. And one of the ways he does so by lavishing beauty all around us!

I notice this a great deal when I make salads. Yeah, it’s just a salad. I get that. But, it’s also a reflection of God’s goodness. You see, salads are so colourful! Together in one bowl, you can see all the different pretty colours and different tastes all together in a delicious dish.

One of the other things I love about salad is that you get to eat a lot. I mean, when you have a big huge salad in front of you, it takes time to get through that thing. It’s work. Delicious work! Hungry? Put as many veggies as you want in your salad, and chow down. I love making myself massive dinner salads. They’re so satisfying!

So go! Make a big colourful salad! Go to your local store, and find as many different veggies with different colours as you can. Chop them, and put them together for healthy superfood goodness. Red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow peppers, dark leafy greens, light green cucumber purple (red) onion, dark purple cabbage, and black olives, to name just a few. And there, you have yourself a rainbow of goodness and beauty, sitting in your bowl for your enjoyment.

 

His Strength is Made Perfect in Our Weakness

All of my 20’s were spent locked up and chained down to food, calories, and weight loss. There was no concern for my personal health other than I wanted to be thin. The desire to be thin outweighed the desire to give my body nutrients, vitamins, and the whole foods it needs to be at optimum health. It was all a job to me, as I would cling to the numbers on the scale.

It never worked. I would lose weight, and I would gain the weight. Then I’d lose more weight, and gain more back. And there’s a reason why it never worked. It never worked because my mind was focused on the wrong things. My mind and heart cared more about physical appearance than taking good care of my body. And that’s why I failed, time and time again. Because when your reasons are focused on the wrong things, it’ll never stick.

Before God, I didn’t love myself, because I hadn’t yet seen my value and worth in being God’s creation and His child.

It wasn’t until God started teaching me new things a few months after He came into my heart and gave Him my life. I started to become convicted about the way I would treat my body. How I would go on ‘health kicks’ and then after one splurge, binge and binge until everything I worked hard for was dissipated. Healthy eating would never stick because I wasn’t eating healthy for my health, but to be thinner. How I would eat too few calories to sustain energy for my body, and other days eat too many calories. How, in my quest for weight loss, I completely ignored nutrition and what is best for taking care of the health of my body, and instead would eat everything light, fat-free, low-fat, and everything in my diet would be tv weight loss dinners and processed junk.

My behavior wasn’t healthy, and Jesus had to retrain my mind. I cried out to Him for help, because I knew I couldn’t do it in my own power. I’d tried for 10 years and I just couldn’t. I needed Him to help me overcome this.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10

His power shines through our weaknesses. Things we were unable to change prior to His power resting on us, we can now overcome with Him.

One of the most significant factors for desiring to overcome this is that I know that the Holy Spirit dwells inside of me, and it changed my perspective from just not caring to deeply caring about the health of my body and what I put into it. That was the biggest thing that changed my mind – knowing that I’m a holy temple in which He dwells, and I want my body to be His. All of His.

So, like I said, I prayed and prayed for Him to help me, strengthen me, empower me.

I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

Isn’t he beautiful? He did just that. When we cry out to Him, he has compassion. He hears our cries. He’s gentle with us. He helps us. He rescues us like the King that He is. Without Him, I’d be stuck in the same mess I was always in. There is power in your life when you know and love and live for God.

Through sanctification and my desire to be His in every way, my mind started to change on things. It was slowly and in steps, as my mind was re-trained on healthy ways of viewing food versus the unhealthy attitudes and bondages I was in for all of my 20’s.

First, it started by completely ridding my life of all that nasty fat-free, low-fat, light processed junk. There’s some sort of creepy brainwashing thing where manufacturers try to trick people into thinking that they are being healthy and will lose weight by buying this stuff – when in reality, they are taking out the real nutrients (fat, carbs, etc) and replacing it with chemicals in order for it to taste good. People end up more hungry because the nutrients are taken out, so they end up eating more. It’s a scheme, and a good one because the mass society is falling for it. I did, until God changed my entire mindset on it and revealed the truth to me.

So, with that change, I started to enjoy the real thing. Real mayonnaise. Real cheese. Real sour cream. Chains that had me tied down for years had been broken, and I found freedom in this change of behaviour! I was able to taste real food. I was able to go to a grocery store and just pick out what I wanted, instead of be tied down to only ‘light’ options. I felt healthier, I felt more satisfied, more full. I binged and overate much less. In fact, it was nonexistent. I was beginning to bask in God’s glory of real food, and it was making me fall in love with God even more because I was able to truly appreciate foods that he provides humankind with. It was a beautiful thing. I was awakened, renewed, and restored from a mindset that held me hostage for years.

From that point, I developed a rich love of real food, whole foods, clean foods, natural foods. Food that grows on the ground, on trees, and from animals. Food that doesn’t have extra unnecessary ingredients or words I can’t pronounce or things that come from cans or processed junk. This rich appreciation for real foods came from my love of the One who made these foods, who created these foods to provide His creation with. Because I love Him, I greatly love His creation. His creativity. His providence. His care. His world, and everything He provides in it. He’s beautiful. He’s everything.

When I started changing my eating habits for my health and because God gave me this body and He dwells inside of me, it was never an up-and-down relationship again. With a rich appreciation for real foods and what they do for my body, it opened up my world into vivid colour and joy in food. Now, I care about the right things. And now, a splurge here and there will not push me into bad seasons of eating because I genuinely care about the health of this body, not to be thin but to be healthy for God, and to glorify Him, the one who made me and who loves me.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Ultimately, knowing I’m a temple of the beautiful, holy, majestic God of the universe melted away all of my past issues. The joy it brings me to know that God lives in me, that I’m His temple, is beyond human description. The comfort and love He gives me is beyond my need to find comfort and love in anything else. He satisfies and loves me fully and completely and perfectly and infinitely.

Beauty Around Me

Knowing God has made me look at food totally different. I mean, really, totally different. Where I once saw everything around me without purpose or meaning, I now gaze my eyes up to the Creator of the universe. The One who made this earth and the stars and the sky. The One who so carefully and respectfully hand-knit us human beings together, each with our own special DNA, physical appearance, personality, voice, eyes and hands! The One who made all the majestic creatures such as wolves, tigers, lions, eagles and owls. The One who covered this earth with His love, pouring beauty over it – beauty that is a representation of His character, His unseen qualities, His creativity, His love.

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1:20, NLT

Isn’t that beautiful? And what eternal power and divine nature it is! He’s the One who created the tiniest, most unseen creatures at the bottom of the ocean and also manifests His power through wind, rain, and tornadoes. There aren’t enough words to describe the magnitude, beauty, creativity, and awe of His creation.

Like I said, entering into a meaningful, loving, and personal relationship with God has changed my life. The way I see everything around me has lit up and magnified. In the past, nothing made sense; everything was without purpose, without wonder. Now that I know and experience this amazing, perfect God with a love so intense I feel like I could explode sometimes, I see everything around me as finely crafted beauty.

And that’s just what it is – it’s finely, divinely, creatively crafted beauty, that, if you look closely, shows you who God is and displays His character.

He makes life delicious in many ways. He makes life delicious in every way.

Okay, He’s just decadently delicious Himself. Can I get an Amen?

Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Psalm 34:8, NLT

Once you get a personal, intimate, real taste of Jesus Christ, it changes your entire world. You are never the same again. Because you realize that there is a God who created you, who made you, who wants you, who thought of every detail about you before you were even conceived – a God who loves you more than what is evenly humanly comprehendible. And when you come to realize this and taste who God is, your whole world turns from grey matter into vibrant colour. From nothing into something. From meaningless into purpose. From dead to alive. Everything around you turns into this utopia of beauty as you get deeper and deeper into an intimate relationship with the One who created you. With the only One who can satisfy your heart because He’s the only One who made it.

He holds you, He protects you, He satisfies you like nothing else can.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4

And literally, there is nothing better. Nothing under the sun can compare to fully experiencing the love of the One who created it.

We all want to be independent human beings who are in charge of our own lives. The thought of God scares some because the thought of God means losing control, and we as human beings really do not like that thought. We like to be in control. I get that, I was like that. Right up until Jesus Christ entered my heart, all my concerns were focused on things like that. And you know why? Because up until the time I received God into my heart, I didn’t know God. I really had no clue what I was in for, or what I was about to experience. But through an act of faith, I reached out. Once He entered my heart and I tasted exactly who He is, I fell madly, passionately, desperately in love with Him. It wasn’t until I experienced Him, until He revealed Himself to me on an intimate level, that my whole entire old world melted away into nothing. Like a black and white drawing being smeared away by rain drops was my old world. He gave me a new world. One with a love so intense I don’t know what to do with myself sometimes! Like a veil taken off my eyes, I now see and love and experience God, and it changed my world from the deepest pit of my being to everything on the outside of me.

There is nothing better than Him. Nothing.

Now, I want every part of my life, my heart, my soul, my being, my world, to be His and His alone. To be guided, directed and kept by Him. To be in His hands. There’s some sense of false happiness in trying to control your whole world on your own and not letting your Shepherd, the One who created you, take you in His arms and hold you and love you and guide your life because He knows what’s best. It’s a sense of false happiness because we weren’t created for that, we were created for Him. We weren’t created to hold onto the materials that this world has to offer, we were created to cling to Him.

And trust me, he is beautiful. You want to be in His hands. His hands are sweet and loving and tender.

So, God is delicious. He makes life delicious for those who know and love Him.

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:10, ESV

You know what else is delicious? Food.

And guess who created food?

…Well, I think you get the picture here.

Like I was saying, knowing God has made the world around me so vibrant with colour, so intense with love, so beautiful. So delicious! I look at food completely different, because food is a reflection of God’s loving providence, care, and creativity! How fruits and vegetables have different colours, textures, tastes, nutrient compounds. How some fruits grow on trees, others from the ground. The variety and tastes blows my mind! They are pleasing to look at and they are delightfully delicious. They nurture our minds and keeps our bodies healthy. I have this awe-stricken relationship with food, and I love chopping and cooking and baking things so much now that I see God in the vast variety of foods. I love food, because I love the One who creates and provides food. So, I wanted to share on this blog foods I make, foods I experience, and how it connects us with a loving, majestic Creator that is Jesus Christ. He blows my mind, and hopefully your mind can be blown too as you see and appreciate the beauty in food around you!