Bear with me through this first paragraph. It should make sense in the end. I’ve always considered myself a pretty low maintenance kind of person. I mean, I like pretty things, but I don’t “have to have” any particular thing to be happy. At least not until the past few years when I learned that I have Celiac Disease and I must eat Gluten Free (GF). It does stink that I can’t have donuts or flour tortillas or cinnamon rolls! But, the worst part for me is having to make sure I have my own food wherever I go and being very picky (which feels rude) whether I'm at someone's home for dinner or a restaurant. However, I have learned how great I feel when I avoid ALL gluten and I have learned how bad I feel when I eat ANY amount of gluten. Knowing this has caused me to be very careful and speak up for myself when necessary.
I say all of this to share a lesson that the Lord taught me a couple of weeks ago on the way to Israel. After a recent trip to Egypt where I lived off of protein bars because GF isn’t really a thing in Egypt, I went into the Israel trip a little worried. What would I eat for 10 whole days? What if I ate something that made me sick? I knew what I had to do! I would pack an entire suitcase of GF food. Enough to live off for the 10 days I would be away.
Now, I’m not saying this was a bad idea. In fact, it worked out well for me to have some great healthy food options with me. But, to say I became overly attached to my plan of supplying my own needs would be an understatement. I didn’t realize how attached I had become until I was about to board the long 10 hour flight from the US to Israel. “I’m sorry ma’am," the gate attendant began, "We will have to put that bag under the plane. There isn’t enough room for it in the cabin.” Ok, no problem, I thought. They tagged my bag, filled with all of my survival foods, and quickly wheeled it away. As I watched my bag moving further and further away a sick feeling began to come over me. Wait! My food! It’s dinnertime! What will I eat? I’m going to be so hungry!
Believe me, looking back I know it wouldn’t have hurt me to miss a meal, but at the time I was panicked. I pleaded with the flight attendant on board to get my bag back. But, by this point the bag was gone - tucked nicely under the plane, ready for the flight. Or was it? What if it didn’t make it on? What if they lost it and I wouldn’t have it when I got to Israel? I really would starve! I’d like to say I reacted calmly and rationally, but my plan was coming completely unraveled. The provisions I had prepared for myself were now out of my hands and out of my control. As I continued with my panic attack and sat down in my seat this came to me, “Why are you worrying? Do you not trust that I will take care of you?”
Matthew 6:28-33 says, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do no labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of theses. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do no worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
I still wasn’t happy about my circumstances, but this reminder gave me peace and refocused my thoughts from providing for myself, to letting the Lord handle it. I’d like to say that the plane ride was wonderful and I slept the entire way, never even thinking about my missing bag again. That’s not how it happened. I didn’t sleep much and my bag came to mind several times throughout the night. But wouldn’t you know, it was there waiting for me when I stepped off the plane. And, not only that, but MUCH of the food provided throughout the trip was delicious gluten-free food! Who would have guessed that the Lord had a plan the entire time!
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him.