Why We Love Feeding People

What is it about us that enjoys feeding people? 

In my family, it goes way back. “Eat!” my grandmother would say. “You’re too thin!” She’d fry up Portuguese doughnuts dusted heavily with sugar and set them before my sisters and me. Watching us devour her goodies, she’d smile a contented smile. 

One of my favorite memories is of preparing my youngest daughter’s 8th birthday breakfast. I was committed to feeding my family a low-sugar, no-junk food diet, but on her birthday, healthy went out the window. The birthday girl could request anything she wanted. 

She chose three of her favorite foods—chocolate chip pancakes, sausage, and ice cream with chocolate syrup. Seeing her eyes sparkle when I brought her tray into her bedroom was a joy. Watching her devour her special food made me happy. 

Now that I’m a grandma, I’m having fun introducing my 2-year-old granddaughter to new foods. When she was a tiny girl, she loved strawberries. She’d eat the leaves and all if we didn’t watch her. She tasted watermelon for the first time at my house. Knowing it was going to be a messy process, we stripped her down to her diaper and sat her in the middle of the table. Barely old enough to sit up, she held a watermelon chunk in both hands and gummed her way to watermelon heaven. The memory of that day still makes me smile. 

As a special treat at Christmas time, I gave her one of my favorite holiday goodies, a Peanut Butter Temptation. Baked in a mini muffin pan, these heavenly treats combine two of my favorites—a peanut butter cookie and a Reese’s peanut butter cup. She was delighted, and so was I. 

Today I filled my bird feeder with black oil sunflower seeds for the first time this winter. It didn’t take long for the cardinals, chickadees, titmouses, and nuthatches to find the feast I left for them. They swarmed my feeder, returning again and again to fill their bellies. Every time I passed the window, I felt happy. 

Watching my feathered friends feast and replaying my food memories makes me wonder if God takes equal delight in feeding us. Does it bring him pleasure to hear us sigh contentedly after a delicious meal? Does he grin happily when we return thanks for a bountiful Thanksgiving meal or a church potluck? Does his heart warm with satisfaction when we savor warm soup on a cold night? 

Our heavenly Father loves to meet our needs. Like I happily shared my favorite Christmas goody with my granddaughter, God delights in providing for us. And because he is a father who loves to give good gifts to his children, he doesn’t stop at the minimum. Sometimes he serves us chocolate chip pancakes, sausage, AND ice cream with chocolate syrup, just because. 

If you’re thankful for God’s generous hand of provision, why not join me in thanking God? Father, thank you for your generous heart toward us. Thank you for providing not just our needs, but our wants as well. Thank you for giving us the ability to taste food, share it with others, and return thanks. Help us never take it for granted, but always be mindful of where it came from. We love you, God. Amen.

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Mat. 6:26).

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