I started a new job last week.
A local snack food company was needing help and called me to come work on the production line for as long as I could. I agreed though I was not sure how my “haven’t worked in a year” body would handle the 9-10 hours on my feet per day. However, I felt it was a direct answer to my prayer for provision and knew that what God provides he supplies the strength to do; so off to work I went.
My jobs have varied during my time so far; from box making to box sealing, from removing poor quality product to filling bags with good product.
The best part was that since there is very low mental strain, it allows me lots of time to use my gift of intercession to lift up the needs of the many during my hours there. I am literally getting paid to “pray without ceasing”. Now that is a cool God-thing!
What surprised me was that during one specific job I was doing God reminded me of a part of His heart in a way I had never seen it before.
One particularly light day my job was simply to add the chosen seasonings to the machine that constantly flowed over the product as it was tumbled through the sorting mechanism. The two seasonings added that day were Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper which came bagged in a perfect mix. As I began to keep the seasoning machine full scoop by scoop I again started to ask God what was on His mind for me.
I was again thrilled as He brought a particular song by Phil Wickham into my thoughts with lyrics that stated: “This is amazing grace; this is unfailing love”.
I started worshiping as these lyrics kept repeating over and over in my head until I finally asked what God’s intention was in bringing this song to mind. I heard Him say that, as my Heavenly Father, this grace and love are two of the seasonings He adds consistently over my life. This thought reminded me of the many passages in the book of Psalms that I had been reading recently where two phrases were repeated over and over again by the Psalmist: God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. Like this perfect mix of seasonings I was adding, amazing grace plus steadfast love and faithfulness were also given in a constant flow from Heaven affecting all of days.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
My earthly father had demonstrated these qualities many times over my life. I remember one particular time when I had gone against his better judgement and decided to attend a particular school dance. I guess he knew what I could experience there and wanted to protect me from it. As a teenage girl I did not want to accept his advice at the time. I went and found out for myself that night the many downfalls of such an event. As I cried softly on my way home I was sure that my father’s disapproval and disappointment of my choice would interrupt our relationship. I bravely knocked on my parents bedroom door with hopes of restoring my father’s love for me. I found, however, that I had never lost it; it had been pouring over me through his prayers the entire time. He demonstrated that night the mercy and grace of the Heavenly Father and was again very slow to anger. I left his room fully seasoned with his grace, steadfast love and faithfulness.
I know he could show this to me because these were the same seasonings he had received from God, the Father’s heart throughout his life and he was simply passing it on.
As my mind was brought back from that incredible memory my eyes focused on the machine ahead of me processing the piles of snack food that day. I noticed that this machine’s purpose was to separate the kernels that remained unpopped and would be too tough to eat. In order for this to happen all of the product was basically being beaten against a rolling drum which allowed the bad part to fall away.
As I watched I realized that God was showing me that there is a purpose behind many of the hard circumstances in life; even the ones that come from our own choices. These circumstances can leave us feeling beaten as they work to rid us of the bad parts of our character. At the same time, they can leave us questioning whether we have lost the love of God.
However, I noticed that it is at this extreme tossing part of the process that the seasoning is added.
It is also during the “extreme tossing” of our lives when our Heavenly Father is sending the seasonings of His amazing grace, steadfast love and faithfulness.
He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! Psalm 57:3
You see, as I was tumbled through the rejections of my young life, God was adding His seasonings. As I was being thrown by the force of divorce, my Heavenly Father was adding His seasonings. As I was being beaten by the pain of chronic illness, the heart of God continued to add His seasonings.
Every part of my life has been completely covered by amazing grace, steadfast love and faithfulness.
That day as I dipped my hand under the machine to get a sample taste of what this process has done to the snack food I realize what God’s seasonings of grace, love and faithfulness have done in my life.
These seasonings have made it taste really good!