At the age of seventeen and a half, I came into a relationship with God through saving faith in Jesus Christ.
My life has been improving overall since, although there have been some ups and downs.
Even prior to my coming into this sacred relationship, I recognized where God has watched over me and provided for me every time I needed help in some way shape, or form.
He started drawing me some time at the age of fifteen going on sixteen and I fully realized everything in July of 2004 at the age of seventeen and a half. I surrendered to The Gospel and therefore put my faith in Christ at that very moment. It took a life of rebellion and defiance and finally a mental breakdown before I had accepted The Gospel.
Even after salvation, though my life is far from perfect. It will never be perfect, at least not on this side of Glory!
But, God has met every one of my earthly needs and always in His perfect timing.
He also grants the appropriate desires of my heart, especially when I delight myself in Him.
I know I could never make it without Him, in this life and especially the next!
Some years ago, I was sitting in church and the Pastor/Teacher was preaching on the even when Jesus Christ miraculously fed five thousand men and many more women and children. That particular event is recorded in every Biblical Gospel narrative.
For those who want to read them; the Scripture references of this miracle are:
Matthew Chapter 14 Verses 13 through 21.
Mark Chapter 6 Verses 31 through 44.
Luke Chapter 9 Verses 12 through 17.
John Chapter 6 Verses 1 through 14.
The Pastor/Teacher went on to say how the five loaves of bread were the size of pistolettes or maybe dinner rolls and the two small fish were likely sardines. He went on to say that likely the young boy’s mother had given them to eat while he went out and about. It was a meal that was easily transportable, even while on foot. In other words, the loaves of bread were not like the size of a loaf of sliced bread one buys at a modern grocer and the two small fish were sardines which are indeed quite small. This meal likely could not hold up a grown man, much less five thousand men and at least just as many women and children maybe more. Calorie needs in those times were likely more than they were now because life, in general, was much more physically demanding. But Jesus using Divine power was able to multiply the fish and bread to feed everyone there and their bellies were completely full. Like more full than they had ever been in their lives. And not only that there were several baskets full of leftovers. The point that made itself clear was that Divine Providence is perfect and all needs are totally met. And as the Cajun in me would say, there is even some lagniappe! God always goes above in beyond because He is all-powerful!
While going through a divorce and moving into my own place, there were quite a few trials but ultimately, God allowed all things to work together for my good and He definitely carried me through this difficult time. As my Paw Paw would have said, had he lived to see the divorce finalized, it was as if I ‘fell into a pile of dung but came out smelling like roses.’ He used a different word than dung, of course, but it’s a word I refuse to use because I’ll assume that it would offend any ladies who may be reading this piece. Furthermore, I, as a Christian, ought not to use that word he used nor should I utter any other filthy or offensive word. I slip up in my speech from time to time, but every time I do, The Holy Ghost convicts me and I subsequently ask God for forgiveness! Therefore I used the word dung instead because it is the word in the Bible that is used to describe any sort of fecal matter. By the way, it wasn’t the only time my Paw Paw used that analogy to describe a situation I was faced with, which simply means that God has been taking care of me for a long time, as in even pre-salvation!
So during the time I was going through a divorce, I could sense God’s Hand upon me. In July of 2018, I was one-day making groceries and was meditating on that aforementioned sermon I had heard some time ago. Immediately, I thought of how I should buy some sardines and pistolettes and eat them when I got home, even if just by myself as a reminder of God taking care of everything for me. I did just that.
Now I will admit that nowhere in The Bible are we as Christians commanded to eat bread and fish, to celebrate God’s providence. There is, however, a meal that we are commanded to eat of unleavened bread and wine (or grape juice) as a memorial to Jesus’ sacrificial death. Yes, I do celebrate this at my local church and every other Christian should as well. By the way drinking any un-fermented fruit juice in Biblical times could have proven fatal because of microbial pathogens and no one in that day knew about the health benefits of pasteurization (killing microbial pathogens with strong heat.) Somehow they figured out that the alcohol produced in fermentation made these fruit juices safe to drink, although if consumed in excess resulted in drunkenness. There is a book in the Catholic Bible, but not the Standard Bible, the Book of Sirach, where it does indeed teach that the inebriating effects of alcoholic beverages were meant to allow the drinker to forget his or her troubles and have a joyful time during feast and festivities. To this day, this is likely the main reason why so many people drink alcohol. This could also be one of the reasons why Catholics have a more lax attitude towards drinking than Protestants do. The numerous references of Scripture that warn against drunkenness are likely there because of the many sinful behaviors that drunkenness results in. These were written not to stop us from having a good time, but to protect from the consequences of the foolish things that are said and done when one is inebriated. God has our best interest at heart, remember that. His commands are guidelines which are there simply to protect us from our own sinful selves.
All in all, eating this meal of sardines and dinner rolls or pistolettes (whichever is available in the bakery section of my grocer) is something I thought of on my own, but while I am enjoying this meal, I eat with a prayerful and grateful attitude, thank my God for taking care of me and providing everything I need and even for the appropriate things that I want. I am not sure if anyone prior to myself thought of this meal, quite possibly several others thought of this, I doubt that I am the only one. However, I eat this meal because it tastes good, it is very filling and it reminds me of how much I depend on God. Our relationship with God is the only relationship where our clinginess will never be annoying because He loves us that much. In fact, He deeply desires for us to cling to Him! He will also fervently chase us down when we stray from Him. He does this not in an abusive way but out of His loving concern for us! Those who think otherwise don’t know Him therefore cannot trust Him. But I sure trust Him! And I’m learning to trust Him even more.
If you, the reader, feel God moving on you to also partake in this meal, then do it reverently, prayerfully, and gratefully. Acknowledge all that God has done for you! Praise Him and give Him the honor and glory He deserves! Then enjoy your meal.
By the way, we should say grace every time we eat, sometimes I forget to do so, to which I get immediately convicted by The Holy Ghost and I ask for forgiveness then say grace.
I’m not trying to start a new practice or anything, I am simply doing that which makes me realize all that God has provided for me.
I’ll admit that I do enjoy this food combination and I will equally admit that not everyone else does. I’ll also admit that not everyone can eat this because of either dietary restrictions or allergies.
In that case, do what works for you, but make sure it lines up with God’s Word and honors Him above all!
I hope you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, encouraged, and maybe even inspired!
May God richly bless you!
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