I wonder who first thought of fish tacos? I certainly never would have. In fact, I was reluctant to taste them, and only did when a friend offered me a bite of his. Now, I love them. The best ones I have ever eaten come from the Spikehorn at Houghton Lake. In fact, I enjoyed two of theirs last night.
Perhaps we should give credit to the little boy mentioned in John 6 … or even to Jesus. You know the story. After a long day in an isolated place Jesus wanted to feed the crowd. When looking for resources available, Andrew reports, “’There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?’ … Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.” (John 6.9, 11) The bread they ate was a flat bread, broken instead of sliced, so it sounds more like fish tacos than fish sandwiches to me. As hungry as the crowd was, they probably did not even miss the lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa.
Barley was the flour used by poor people. The fish were likely dried and salted, not blackened as mine were last night. I am sure that what I ate last night was more pleasing to my palate then those Jesus made in John 6 would have been. Then, again, perhaps not – after all, who am I to criticize the food Jesus serves? In fact, the moment I do, I fall in line with the much larger crowd who followed Moses through the Red Sea and across the wilderness.
Instead, I will redirect my attention back to the fish tacos served to me last night, and yours to Psalm 23.5 – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” David here describes the reality we live in as the people of God in Christ Jesus. And not just us, but all as Jesus explains, “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5.45)
Fish tacos are a simple, but flavorful, illustration of how “my cup overflows.” As God fed his people with manna and quail in the wilderness, so he provides for us throughout our lives … no matter what is taking place in our world. And, I am afraid, every time I have complained about the pandemic, I have re-entered that lineup of grumblers voicing their irritations to the ears of Moses.
How much healthier it is for us to walk in the footsteps of David … and to picture the fish tacos shared by the little boy in John 6 to have been every bit as tasty as those served to me at the Spikehorn last night. In the same light, an attitude of gratitude is always much more attractive than one of constant criticism. “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. … Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” (Psalm 37.1-9)
Somehow, I have the feeling that if God was able to get me to enjoy fish tacos by simply having me sample one, I think he can do the same thing with our attitudes regarding the pandemic … that is, transform our attention to see the many blessings that have come – and continue to come – our way not just in spite of it all, but because of it all! And just think of how much more attractive the world would be if he managed to do this in everyone!