When You Have Eaten

“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.”—Deuteronomy 8:10 Imagine you have a teenage son (or substitute another dependent family member.) He comes home and finds a steak in the refrigerator – one that you are saving for a special occasion.

He’s hungry. It looks good. He eats it.

Perhaps as his parent, you wouldn’t even be that angry. He’s your son. You buy him food because you love him.

But something is wrong with this picture.

One of our worst human flaws is mindlessly taking things for granted.

Even if he had texted and said, “Dad, Mom, thanks for keeping my favorite foods around. U R the best! I love you sooo much! BTW—can I grab that steak?” it would have softened the loss.

But he didn’t. So you ask, “Why did you eat that steak?”

“Ummm, I opened the fridge and there it was.”

He forgets:

Steaks don’t grow on trees. Someone put it there. Food comes from Mom and Dad. Behind this food is a labor of love. Parents work to provide for their children. When kids take their provision for granted, it hurts some.

So how to change that? Maybe empty the fridge and cupboards for a couple of days until he gets annoyed and asks “What’s up with this? I’m starving.”

Take him shopping, let him know the cost of things and the labor involved in shopping, unpacking, putting away, and preparing until it sinks in! There are actions, choices, work, and care behind what we provide.

God dealt with the children of Israel in a similar manner. Not to be mean or selfish but to teach them. When we make choices that go against His commands, when we fail to be grateful for the blessings in our lives and take them for granted, He will allow us to feel the pain.

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”—Deuteronomy 8:3  

The Lord is a loving Father who knows what will give us the abundant life He desires for us. He teaches us valuable lessons in life; gratitude is one of them. He promised His children a land flowing with milk and honey. A full fridge.

A full, satisfying life!