Of Blueberry Crisps and Grace
By Barbie McNutt
Have you ever had one of those moments where you saw God’s hand moving? While I’d like to say I’m writing this article about watching a miraculous healing, or a dramatic restoration of family members, or an angel appearing visibly to prevent some horrible accident – I’m not. Instead, I recently saw God’s hand in a simple moment with my Girls Ministries Club.
I have the privilege of leading the elementary girls’ Wednesday night club. I affectionately call my group the Flower Girls, because the ages range from 6-10 years old, encompassing the Daisies, Prims, and Stars of the Assemblies of God Girls Ministries program. For the month of October, we’ve been cooking!
A few weeks ago, on our first night of this unit, I had planned to simply help the Flower Girls learn some measuring skills and cooking hygiene. I had a bag packed full of spices – ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice, and cloves and a few salt shakers, some ribbon, tulle, and scissors. We were going to create a pumpkin spice mixture that they could use in recipes to make cookies, cakes, or hot drinks. Fun and easy! Right? Nope.
I was halfway to the church when I realized I had forgotten that carefully packed bag at home. As usual, I hadn’t left much margin (see Lisa Harper’s blog article for more on that) and so didn’t have the time to turn around, get the bag, and still make it to service on time. So, I plowed on and asked God as I drove to help me find some materials for these sweet girls who were eager to start this cooking unit.
I had sugar in the church office for coffee and I knew there were cans of blueberry pie filling in the pantry, as well as oatmeal. I thought that maybe we could concoct, without a recipe, some sort of blueberry crisp. Meeting in the kitchen, I explained to the girls what had happened and said that if only we had some brown sugar, oil or butter, and cinnamon, we could make a real blueberry crisp. We sighed together and decided we’d just start out our unit experimenting. Fun! God is good.
Actually, He’s even better than good. I started looking through the cupboards in the church kitchen, thinking there must be some cooking spray in there somewhere. I opened one cupboard door and there, in front of my eyes, was not only the cooking spray I was looking for, but also brown sugar, cooking oil, and cinnamon, sitting in a little group as if gathered together just for my Flower Girls. God is great!
We worked together to measure, mix, and get that blueberry crisp in the oven and then I started to share the lesson for this meeting. It was, providentially, taken from 1 Kings 17. Elijah the prophet had just informed the King of Israel that there would be no rain for several years, ushering in a drought and famine. God provided for Elijah for a time in the wilderness, but eventually, Elijah was told to leave that area and to stay in a town called Zarephath. A widow there would care for Elijah. The first meeting between Elijah and the widow, however, was surprising. The widow was gathering sticks for firewood, planning to use up the last of her flour and oil to make the last meal ever for herself and her son. Elijah, however, had learned to trust the voice of God and simply asked the widow to go ahead and make up that bread and share some with him. And as long as Elijah stayed with the widow, through the duration of the famine and drought, she always had enough to feed not only herself and her son, but Elijah as well.
As we finished reading the story, I looked into the faces of my sweet little Flower Girls and asked them, “Do you see how this happened tonight?!?” They excitedly shared about how we found the ingredients we needed for a good crisp right there in the cupboard and we talked about how God wants to provide for us and wants us to help other people. They clearly saw the hand of God move in their lives. God is amazing!
I think, probably, that was the best blueberry crisp I’ve ever eaten. It was truly made with the grace of God.