By Barbara Rainey and Janel Breitenstein
My (Janel’s) mom packed a sack lunch for me daily for nearly my entire school career. Thirteen years, three sisters, and my father… that’s a lot of lunches. Barbara’s mother, too, packed hers and her three brothers for a combined 20 plus years!
My lunch contents varied throughout the year, from Jif with honey to steaming Campbell’s soup in my lunchbox matching Thermos. Normal school challenges rose before me in my growing up years but I never wondered if I’d have food that day for lunch.
As a young adult, I found myself pensive and concerned over a new season that lay spread before me, frightening and uncertain. Perhaps you, too, feel uncertain as 2016 stretches blindly before you. As I chatted with my mom that night, she tilted her head.
“You know, I packed your lunch for so many years. Every morning, you never walked down the stairs, wringing your hands: ‘What in the world will I eat today?’ How much more is God taking care of you?”
And those lunch memories, of course, flew vivid and flavorful to my mind. Each season, I’d had what I needed, even in a carrying vessel that fit my time, my age. It wasn’t always what I’d have ordered—but it was always what I needed. I was taken care of—richly, appropriately; nourished with a side of dessert.
How much greater has God’s faithfulness been to me?
Down to the infinitely complex weaving that is the rope of history, God has sustained and provided for the billions of people who’ve walked our planet. So my mental anguish—how will He take care of this one? What’s around the bend this year? What about that diagnosis? That relationship?—might show just how little I’ve recognized His utterly full, compassionate care; how His perfect nurture is part of His very identity. That there is absolutely no shadow of turning.
Because, no matter how many sandwiches I’ve inhaled whose crumbs are all that remain, God has always packed my lunch.
Great, I know, is His faithfulness.