There’s this ancient proverb, I think it’s Chinese.
Man stands for long time before roast duck flies into open mouth.
It’s true enough. Generally speaking, if we want something, we’ll have to work for it. And usually we have to work hard.
In the duck scenario, first there’s hunting the duck – or raising it. Either way, it requires effort to get a duck. Before we can eat it, the duck must be killed, plucked, cleaned out, seasoned, and roasted. Then, in our culture, there are side items, place settings, carving the duck… you get the idea.
The funny things about proverbs is that while they generally hold true, there are exceptions. In other words, they are good rules of thumb, but not absolute laws.
The other day we got smacked upside the head with a roast duck. And we didn’t even have our mouths open.
We had this old truck. And it was broken. And we managed (through the faithfulness of some generous saints) to get the truck fixed. We decided to sell it before it cost us any more money. My husband looked on Edmunds.com to see how much it was worth, but that’s as far as we got. Life is busy, and all that.
So the other day, completely out of the blue, a man knocked on our door and asked us if we would sell the truck. He offered exactly what Edmunds.com suggested it was worth. He went to the ATM across from our neighborhood and returned with cash within minutes. The truck is no more.
I laughed when my husband recounted the string of events. I texted him, “Roast duck just flew into your mouth. Prolly busted your lip because you didn’t even have your mouth open. :)”
Later we talked about how unusual this was. And then realized it isn’t all that unusual.
God has, in his faithfulness, consistently caused roast duck to fly into our mouths. We remembered scholarships, the gift of yard work, unexpected money for braces for our kids, state-sponsored programs available for our special needs children, family and friends who have reached out at the exact moment we needed a hand – who didn’t know we were grasping for straws.
I got this mental image of years of roast ducks raining down while we stood there, not even realizing, sometimes, we were hungry and needed to eat.
It’s like this heavenly food fight. Blessings raining down to meet needs before we even know to open our mouths.
Of course, the biggest roast duck of all is the grace of salvation.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. — Colossians 2:13-14
Dead people don’t know they need anything. And in the ultimate, unconscious deadness of our sin, God made us alive. He cast roast duck into the mouth of me standing there dead. He did all the work to offer me the only nourishment which could save me.
I’ve never had a greater appreciation for roast duck. 🙂