I was preparing to go into work for what would be a seventeen+ hour shift. Earlier, I had been telling my husband about my desire to try yet again to make my mother's chicken and dumplings I remembered from my youth.
There is nothing really special about this recipe, except for the fact that I always loved the airy, fluffy dumplings that resulted from her dropping the dough from a spoon into the chicken broth, instead of rolling them out as my father did when he made them. The result was something that looked sort of like a cloud. It was white and fluffly and soft on the outside. On the inside it was airy and light and perfectly done, like a biscuit.
I had tried before to make them, but never quite had managed to get them like Momma's. Then one day I happened to be watching a cooking show when they were making gnocchi. That's when the light went off in my head and I realized exactly what I had been doing wrong on all my previous attempts.
My husband, knowing I had a particularly stressful time ahead of me, made the chicken in the pressure cooker, and even strained the broth for me. It was already simmering in the pot when he called me to the kitchen. He makes wonderful biscuits and had biscuit dough for me to use as my dumplings.
Llike my daughters, he is a true foodie. He looked at the simple, relatively spiceless broth and immediately suggested multiple ways to spice it up. But that wasn't what I wanted. I didn't want "foodie" dumplings, I wanted "Momma's" dumplings.
I dropped my little ball of dough into the broth and waited. In just a few moments I had several little fluffy clouds floating on the surface. I couldn't believe it when I tasted them and it was as if I had been transported back to that pine-paneled kitchen, sitting at the bar eating the dumplings she had made for me. It was truly comfort food. I ate dumplings until I thought I would pop.
Isn't it amazing how food can be so comforting to us, how it can bring back so many memories and wonderful feelings. But true comfort doesn't come from a bowl of dumplings, no matter how good they are. True comfort comes from the Lord. The Scriptures tell us:
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." 2 Corinthians 1:3,4Our God is the "God of all comfort," which means any comfort we experience in some way has come from Him. Whether it be that soft bed, that warm blanket, that kind word from a friend, or a hot bowl of fluffy dumplings, they are all ways in which He comforts us.
This comfort isn't just for us either. . .it is to share. The comfort He pours into our hearts we then turn around and pour into someone else who is hurting and in need. We receive, not to store up for ourselves, but to pour out upon others. So let us enjoy every thing in our lives that brings us comfort even more knowing it is one of the many gifts our Father has lavished upon us, and let us lovingly bestow them upon others as well.
"Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father,
which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."
2 Thessalonias 2: 16, 17