It was January of 1989 as my friend, Darlene, and I stood in the kitchen. We were focused on a little stick that would tell us whether or not I was pregnant.
I was a mix of emotions—nervous, worried, hopeful, anxious, and insecure.
So, as we waited, I opened a bag of mini Heath candy bars. One-by-one, I unwrapped them and, with every bite, I felt a little better. I was distracted and enjoying that toffee crunch and chocolate.
By the time the stick turned blue, I had eaten half the bag!
When Darlene gasped and told me I was pregnant, we jumped up and down. Then, after my feet landed solidly on the kitchen floor, I tore open the remaining Heath bars and ate every last one!
I was eating because I was happy, nervous, and stressed. I truly could accompany any emotion I was feeling with a Heath bar, and somehow, I felt comforted.
Sister, I was a classic emotional eater.
Maybe you can relate. Like me, it could be that you too have found yourself eating for comfort. Or, perhaps you’ve struggled with food in other ways and, as a result, you have a complicated and conflicted relationship with it.
If that’s you, pull up a chair! You are going to love today’s 4:13 Podcast guest, Margaret Feinberg.
Margaret is a Bible teacher and speaker. You may have heard her at Fresh Grounded Faith, Catalyst, or Women of Joy. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, Leif, and their super pup, Hershey.
She’s also the author of the book, Taste and See: Finding God Among Butchers, Bakers, and Fresh Food Makers. And, today, she’s going to help you and I better understand God’s intention for what we eat and why we eat it.
So, if food has been a battleground for you and a source of shame, the insights Margaret shares will bring freedom! You’ll learn how to start approaching the table as the sacred place God intended it to be.
“Taste and See” Foods in Scripture
Here are several foods in the Bible that will give you a greater appetite to taste and see how good God is.
- Salt. When Margaret traveled 410 feet down into a salt mine, she discovered that salt in the Bible is very different from modern salt. In Jesus’ day, it was highly valued because it kept food from rotting. Additionally, it was harvested with its surrounding minerals such as magnesium and iron which provided nutrients the body needed. So, when Jesus says you are the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13), He is saying that He sees and knows your value. Not only that, but just as salt has its surrounding minerals, you have your individual story and background, your strengths and weaknesses, and God wants to use all of that as He pours you out in this world.
- Fish. As Margaret fished on the Sea of Galilee, she learned that fisherman in Jesus’ time only had linen nets. They fished at night so the fish wouldn’t see the nets in the water, and then the next day they spent time washing and laying the nets out to dry so they wouldn’t rot. When Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him, He wasn’t just calling them to leave their nets, but also all the work that went with those nets. What they didn’t know was that those boats they left behind would become floating pulpits for Jesus. The same is true for you. When Christ calls you away from something that is so valuable that you don’t want to leave it behind or relinquish it, but you surrender it anyway, He will use it to draw more people to Himself.
- Bread. Margaret tracked down one of the world’s experts on ancient grains because she wanted to understand bread in the Bible. She learned that in antiquity, only the rich and elite could afford to eat white bread. The mainstay flours were always darker in color, such as barley, because those kinds of grains were much easier to grow. When Jesus multiplied the loaves of bread and fish in Matthew 14:13-21, He could have chosen anyone’s lunch. But He picked the barley bread of a poor boy. In doing so, He was confessing solidarity with the poor. He was demonstrating that He was with them and He was for them. This reminds you and me that there is no one who is beyond His redemption, His provision, and His grace.
- Figs. As Margaret spent time with a fig farmer, she found that fig trees are different from other fruit trees. The figs do not ripen all at one time. Instead, they ripen slowly. The farmer has to be attentive to when each fig is ripe and then quick to pick it once it is. This idea of paying attention paints an image of spiritual attentiveness and how God provides fruit for you. It encourages you to wake up every day looking for spiritual nourishment and fresh sustenance from God. It calls you to live with more spiritual attentiveness to what God wants to do in your life each and every day.
No matter what your relationship with food has been, today you can start to move from a place of shame to sacredness. Remember, no matter what you face or how you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!
Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me Bible Study
- 66 Ways God Loves You
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
More from Margaret Feinberg
- Visit Margaret’s website
- Taste and See: Finding God Among Butchers, Bakers and Fresh Food Makers
- Taste and See: Finding God Among Butchers, Bakers and Fresh Food Makers Study Guide with DVD
*** You can hear from amazing women like Margaret at a Fresh Grounded Faith event near you! Find an FGF in your area here.
Additional Links Mentioned in the Episode
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
What is one new thing you learned about food from listening to this podcast? Share in the comments about how it’s better helping you taste and see God’s goodness.