Bean Soup

It is winter. Soup is wonderful in the winter so I started soaking my great northern beans last night in preparation of my homemade bean soup. When I set it to cooking this morning my mouth began to water thinking about how tasty it would be. It was with relief that I saw on the plastic bag full of beans that there is absolutely no sodium in great northern beans. I did not add any either.

Those beans also sent me on a trip down memory lane. One of the products my dad planted on our family farm each year was great northern beans. Dad was the only person who paid much attention to the beans until they were harvested. I’d see those heavy 100# bags of beans in the grain bins and groan.

I was a child, it seems, a hundred years ago, living on a small farm in a tightly-knit community. My mom traded eggs from our chickens and those dry bean. She took them to the back of the store for the storekeeper to tally and then picked items like coffee, sugar, peanut butter, and flour. When she approached the lady at the big cash register, the amount of money for the eggs and beans paid for the groceries and usually Mom had some cash to stash away for a time when the hens were not laying as well. Honest, that was in the 1950’s, not in Little House on the Prairie.

Those beans were the unwelcome sight to me as after supper the dishes were washed and out in the dining room dad had already a big heap of dry beans for us to sort. We didn’t sit and watch television. Nope. I sat there at the table with my parents and grandfather and sorted out the small sticks, pod pieces and, even a stone sometimes, and broken beans. Mom weighed them and put the good beans into a separate pile for selling. We also ate our own product on a regular basis during the winter.

That memory is a precious one to me now. Since those days I have found Christ as my personal Savior and studied His Word. Esau sold his birthright—a big deal—for a bowl of bean soup. Esau thought he might die of hunger anyhow, so he gave up his coveted position of the oldest in the family for a bowl of soup. What is it that we all too hastily give up for a fleeting pleasure rather than wait for God’s best gifts?

I’ll be eating bean soup once a day now for about five days and thinking about foolish Esau. I’ll also think of the times I passed up a golden opportunity for something far less. My own mess of pottage.

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