When back ‘home’ (whether that is the UK, NZ, Canada or Australia or even all of the above I seriously don’t know.. however back ‘home’) anytime I dined out, I would ensure the waiter add loads and loads of freshly ground black pepper. The “Easterner” in me at that stage needed it to be kicked up a notch. However a few years ago, after I moved to Sri Lanka, I began to develop an allergy to BLACK PEPPER out of all things. I’m thinking it’s due to is coarse coating – which I believe is rougher here than back home! It took me quite a while to discover the ingredient of the crime!!! However speaking to someone else from Canada, a chef at that, I discovered yet another who had sensitivity towards black pepper. Phew, I’m not weird after all!
However, this did cause a lot of inconveniences as the main ingredient in food bought from out seems to be black pepper. Instead of black peppered beef, we would get beefed black pepper!!! (ok.. I’m just creating the word beefed out here but you get the drift right?!) Apparently the pepper helps to preserve food from getting spoilt!
So here I am, avoiding food from out and so many well meaning Christians would present their theologies… “You should seek healing and stop fussing.” Many would go one step further and quote, “By His stripes we are healed” They don’t realise how this irks me as it a misquoted verse, totally out of context! If you carefully read the passage, it is in context of infirmities and iniquities… that of sin. Besides is anyone exempt of any biological aging, even perhaps clear eyesight? Isn’t our bodies meant to age? Thus wouldn’t sicknesses be inevitable. Yes God can heal and will heal if He so wills… if it is in His plan. Are we willing to praise Him and give thanks to Him in ALL circumstances? Are we able to learn to lean on Him because when we have limitations, that’s what precisely we end up doing, as we are unable to then depend on our flesh alone! Are we able to rejoice in the enhanced intimacy with our Heavenly Father?
Anyway to take a step back, my reply to these Christians is one thing! If God is allowing the allergies, I’m not going to argue with Him or try to tell Him I know better. Even before I have presented my situation to Him, He already knows it. Who knows, this could be for my benefit! If my body is rejecting it well then I will avoid it as much as possible as I don’t want to cause any harm to my body which is the temple of God.
This ‘battle’ between the super spiritual Christians and I have gone on for a while… However, recently I saw a posting on a friend’s FB wall on the benefits of black pepper. No, I don’t necessarily believe all that I read on the internet let alone on FB postings as a lot of stuff tend to be biased…. and different things would affect different people according to their body type, metabolism. genetics, climate of dwelling etc. I have heard many people in Sri Lanka say that black pepper is really good for you, that it helps digestion – whereas I feel if my tongue starts smarting, I’m not sure it would aid digestion for me! Ahhh where was I? Oh that’s right… According to this particular posting, black pepper reduced blood pressure and stabilises it! My instant response was, “Ahhhhhh is that why God was warning me to avoid black pepper – I have a low blood pressure tendency!” Isn’t “one man’s meat another man’s poison”? For someone with iron deficiency, red meat is beneficial but for another with cholesterol it can prove to be detrimental to health!
Sometimes in an attempt to show ourselves super spiritual, we end up becoming religious nuts! We can thwart God’s purposes for our lives or His protection by making choices or even demanding stuff from God according to our earthly wisdom.
“Everything is permissible, but not all things are beneficial”
“Why God Why?”, we question Him as if we know more than Him.
We need to have faith that He has His time, His way, His choices for a purpose…
“And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those WHO LOVE HIM,
who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Do you love Him? Then rest assured that He knows what He is doing and why and when and that He is working for your good!
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6)
Then be still and know that He (not your mind, not your capabilities, not your strength or efforts or anyone else’s for that matter) is God!
And let’s all endeavour to love our neighbour as ourselves! Let’s try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes before opening our mouth. Let’s not “JUDGE” based on appearances and thus condemn others. Questions, with love that is, are always advisable as opposed to statements!