I was thinking this week about what the Apostle Paul said in Phl. 4:4. The KJV translation says, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice." I like to try to find little things to rejoice in that make me think more about the Heavenly Father and how He takes such good care of us.
It’s possible that most people don’t think about rejoicing at the grocery store, but I do. Walking around and seeing all of the incredible varieties of fruits and vegetables that God has given to us makes my heart rejoice with gladness and thankfulness that He loved us so much to create all of these different things to eat, simply for our enjoyment.
He could have created a grey, bland, boring food cube and said, “Well, that’s it. This is what mankind will have to eat.” But He didn’t. And I get lost in my own thoughts about his creativity and generosity as I stroll up and down the produce aisles, reflecting upon his thoughtfulness and care.
Last week I wanted to make fajitas, so I had to buy some bell peppers. I picked up a green pepper and realized that I could make our meal even more interesting by adding another color, and another, and another. Why do we have yellow, orange, red and green peppers? One brightly colored pepper would have been enough for God to give us. But instead, He gave us a rainbow of peppers. In fact, they were so beautiful on my cutting board—so bright and vivid and appetizing —and I was so moved by their beauty that I had to take a picture of them! So I did. I took a picture of peppers on my cutting board, and then I offered a prayer of thankfulness and rejoicing in my kitchen for this lovely, special gift.
Rejoicing at the grocery store while looking at the incredible variety of foods that God has given to us leads me to count my blessings. I am thankful I have a car so that I can get to the grocery store. I am thankful we have jobs and earn money so we can buy nutritious things to eat. Finally, I am thankful that I have the strength and energy to be able to prepare the foods for us to eat. So I think about our Heavenly Father a lot while I cook.
Sometimes, if I get tired or busy, I’m ashamed to say that my thoughts might creep towards what a chore it is to go to the store and have to decide what we’re going to eat and how I have to prepare it and clean up afterwards. This thinking is wrong, and I try to recognize it quickly. Instead, I change my thoughts and rejoice because it’s actually a privilege to go to the store.
The topic of food leads me to rejoice about the culinary treasures we can experience in faraway countries if we are fortunate enough to travel there.
My husband and I were recently in Thailand, and we experienced the joy and wonderment of eating fruits and vegetables that we had never seen or even heard of before in our lives. The variety, the colors, and the tastes out there are mindboggling.
However, on our trip, we were exposed to so many of the poor on the streets, begging. Of course we have that here in some areas of Chicago, but it seemed to be more prominent in Bangkok. That experience made my heart sorrowful but I also rejoiced for the promise of the Kingdom, because we know that all of mankind will rejoice when Satan will be bound, death and sin will be obliterated, and there will be an awakening of every person who has ever lived.
So these are just a few examples of times when I rejoice—when I’m at the grocery store, while I’m cooking in my kitchen, or when I travel and get to experience the culinary delights that God has scattered across our beautiful earth because He cares for us.
All this because of shopping for bell peppers to make fajitas. The Apostle Paul said to "Rejoice in the Lord always.” What blessings are you rejoicing in?