We’ve had a lot of fun with our daughter Jill the last several weeks she has been in town. She came to see the family and to help Kristin with the transition she is going through. Yesterday, she was here at the house and Janet went to the cupboard to get out the chocolate rocks – a milk chocolate delicacy that she absolutely loves – especially when she sits down with a mid-afternoon cup of coffee.
Now nothing compares to Michelle Reed’s homemade bread, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you already know that. But if there is a second place winner, it is the delicious sweet candy that we buy each time we’re at the Greenbrier, Janet’s and my favorite resort in the mountains of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. In January we were there, and they happened to have a supply of their chocolate rocks in the gourmet shop. Now I should explain that they are small milk chocolate morsels covered with a thin hard shell glaze that gives the candy the appearance of a handful of small pebbles, all of different shapes, sizes and colors – kind of like picking up a bunch of very small rocks from a decorative garden.
They’re smaller than M&M’s, and they taste much better, but it’s not like I would die for them or anything. But Janet really loves these gourmet treats. When we visited the Greenbrier, I wondered why she was buying 4 bags. Well, I found out – she’s had them all in the cabinet and she just opened the last bag.
So yesterday, I called the Greenbrier to order more to be delivered to our home. They were out of stock………. In fact, it will be another three or four weeks until they get more in. I left my name and phone number, but I hope they get more soon, or we could have a crisis on our hands. In fact, other than Michelle’s bread, this is the only food item that Janet is really possessive of. Jill was laughing hysterically at the conversation we were having as it was revealed that the Greenbrier was sold out.
Now mind you, I have not had even one chocolate rock since we got them in January. It’s probably a good thing, or I would really be in the doghouse. And I mean not even one small one, like the size of a single kernel of corn. Yesterday, I asked Janet if I could try ONE – and she agreed. I reached in the bag, not realizing that there was a small hole in the top of the cellophane, and tried to pick out a single piece of chocolate. When I opened my fingers, it wasn’t there. I figured it had fallen back in the bag, so I got another one and let it melt in my mouth. It was pretty good……….
Imagine my surprise when I stood up and there, on the seat of the chair, was a melted chocolate rock. I thought Janet was going to have a conniption. She got a wet paper towel and while I was glad that it was a leather chair, so there was no damage, it wasn’t the chair that she was concerned about – Janet was mourning the loss of a piece of her delicacy. We all laughed, and it is one of those things that we will remember for years to come.
Of course, I got to thinking about all the events and celebrations that happened with food in the Bible. There are hundreds of verses that speak about food, God’s provision and of course, all the references to Christ and the fact that those who are believers will never be hungry again. But there is only one reference to “special food” in the entire Scripture and that only occurs in the NIV version.
It has to do with the story of Esther. She was the young Jewish girl who was chosen to go and present herself to the King, Xerxes, after he banished his wife Vashti as a result of her unwillingness to acknowledge him during a massive celebration that lasted more than 6 months. The purpose of the festival was to affirm the wealth of Xerxes and to demonstrate his stronghold on the kingdom. Unfortunately, Vashti didn’t play along and so she was ousted as Queen and a countrywide search was held for her replacement.
Esther was brought to the royal quarters and was put under the charge of a palace eunuch named Hegai. He was responsible for helping the young girls to look their best, and in this case, God had special plans for Esther. Hegai took an interest in her and immediately set about the task of making her presentable to the King. Of course, the palace eunuchs would have no personal interest in the ladies and there is no evidence in the Scripture to even indicate that Esther became illicitly involved with the King. God probably saved her from that. Our verse tonight, acknowledging the only place where “special food” is mentioned, comes from Esther 2:9, “The girl pleased him (Hegai) and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.”
The most famous verse from the book of Esther, which never mentions God even once in the entire book, has to do with God’s perfect timing and how we are all created for special moments. My encouragement tonight is to make sure you realize that God created you for a special reason – a special purpose. And my prayer is that He will reveal that to you when the time is right. Just like He did with Esther. And who knows, perhaps some day you will have your own bag of chocolate rocks – just like Janet. Grace and peace…..