The spice cupboard

I enjoy growing herbs in my garden, some are perennials always there for the picking, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme enriching casseroles and all manner of dishes. Oregano and sage and parsley (sometimes) are welcome herbs all the year round. Some herbs like mint, basil and coriander are more seasonal delighting us in the warmer months, but what I don’t have in my garden are spices. For them I have to look in my store cupboard.

My spice collection is in a couple of old shoe boxes in a wall cupboard and an overflow squeezed onto the shelf. What a cornucopia of spices I have! Jostling together in their boxes spices from around the world waft and intermingle their aromas as I open the cupboard door.

Some of the spices I use on a very regular basis are coriander, ginger and cumin, paprika, nutmeg and cinnamon along with various peppers and chilli. Allspice, though, I rarely use and was somewhat surprised to find I had two jars but that’s another story. My favourite spice jars are the ones my daughter gave me, with mouths big enough to get a teaspoon inside. Why are most spice jars too small to fit a little spoon, when we measure spice with teaspoons?

There is one jar of spice that isn’t in the cupboard, its’s the mustard seed. It didn’t come in a jar but a somewhat flimsy box so I had to hunt for a little jar and on finding a pretty little jar to put the seed in I left it sat on top of a display box in my kitchen and there it has stayed. It reminds me now of what Jesus said about how much faith we need. I think someone also once said that it was not a great faith we needed but a little faith in a great God. Here is what it says in Matthew:

Matthew 17: 14-20

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

When I find it hard to keep trusting in Jesus I can look at my little jar and be reminded that we only need a little faith because we already have a great God.