I am not the best cook but I am happily married to one who is. So it was a little surprising to find myself volunteered to be the cook at a women’s conference. I would like to have said I was a willing volunteer but like most husbands I was persuaded. In truth I was not the cook, just his assistant. The bottle washer so to speak. I discovered that the kitchen can be a dangerous place with lots of sharp knives, hot plates and people with a cutting wit when it comes to halfwit bottle washers. It was a Christian Women’s Conference so the Gordon Ramsay style of critique was missing. As the women sang songs about holiness and God’s great love for us it even seemed inappropriate to think a swear word. And there were still two days of cooking to go. It was a miracle. But the real test would be if the women could eat what we cooked without forgetting some of those holy, God loving songs and not thinking of some swear words of their own.
I remember thinking what an extraordinary Christian conference. These women practice what they preach. They took life in their own hands and stepped out in faith. They downed copious… oops… I mean a healthy portion of the food we prepared. They even seemed happy, though at times I felt nervous as they used their forks but held their knives as though ready to dispatch a contestant on My Kitchen Rules.
Faith is an interesting reality. You jump on a plane trusting a pilot that you have never met. You go under the knife of a surgeon who looks like a child who can’t wait to cut. You let someone drill into your head whose profession begins with the word “Dent”. You marry some person you hardly know in the hope of love and happiness. You look to your golf pro to improve your swing, you turn the keys expecting the engine to start, and at a Christian Women’s Conference you eat food someone else has prepared. That’s faith.
I remember hearing the story of a group of soldiers in Vietnam who kept giving a young Vietnamese cook the hardest of times. After a while the soldiers felt the guilt of their own behaviour and apologised saying to the young boy, “We are not going to be rude to you anymore”, to which the young boy responded, “Thank you, me no longer spit in your soup.”
When you mistreat the one who feeds you, abuse the one who serves you and ignore their efforts for you, can you ever have faith that they will not spit in your soup? Only if the one you mistreat and abuse loves you enough to suffer for you, never gives up on you and stands ready to forgive you. Such a person will never spit in your soup because they care for you. I’m a lot more confident when the pilot, the doctor, the dentist, the spouse and the cook love their neighbour as they love themselves.
As we cooked, the women spent the whole time thinking about the God who loves them just like that. And it is why faith in Jesus Christ is not without its reasons.
Those women ate trusting we would not poison them. They ate trusting that our preparation would sustain them and every one of them went home well fed and thankful.
You know you can trust God to not poison you, you can trust God to sustain you and you can trust God that one day you can be at home with Him in Heaven and find yourself the most thankful you have ever been. Stepping out in faith can do this for you when the one our faith is in is trustworthy.