Every summer I look forward to meeting up with friends at the Lake House. During the day we cruise the lake, soaking up the sun, enjoying a beer, laughing, reminiscing and catching up. In the evening we find our way back to shore, cook dinner on the grill, and build a bonfire. It makes a summer day feel complete.
At the end of August I decided that September 1st I would give up sweets for the entire month as part of a 30 day fast. The problem is I didn’t take into account the s’mores. We went to the lake house this past weekend and the entire time I was thinking that I told God I was going to sacrifice sweets for thirty days, but I really needed a s’more before the end of the summer. It's a tradition as we sit around the fire at night. And they are my FAVORITE!
So, this is how this went down. I had a conversation with God early in the day, “Look, I know I said I was going to make this sacrifice, and it’s only day three, but you KNOW s’mores are my favorite and I only get them like once a year. So I need you to give me some type of sign that it’s okay to eat one… or two.”
I mean seriously, who else does this besides me?!
As the sun was setting, Dani’s mom went in the kitchen and got the marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey’s chocolate as we all headed down to the fire pit. I didn’t feel that God had confirmed it was okay for me to break my fast. I felt a bit of conviction so I watched as my sister and Dani began roasting their marshmallows to a toasty crisp.
My mouth was watering, and I just sat there envious of what they had as I chose not to partake. In my head I had to have a conversation with myself:
If you don’t have power over a s’more, how is God going to trust you to have power over things that actually matter? When God says no, I cannot continually say “I’m going to do it anyways.”
As I looked down at the bag of marshmallows it was covered in tiny ants, inside and out. By this time, Dani had already mounted her chocolate and a toasted marshmallow on the graham cracker and took a bite of the melted goodness. “EW! I think you guys just ate some ants!” as we all laughed. She in turn said “And I think these graham crackers are stale” as my sister responds “the chocolate is too”.
In that moment I knew what God was trying to do. It was almost as if he said “what you thought was going to be so good, was not all it was cracked up to be.”
Dani’s mom refused to believe the ants were on the marshmallows because it was dark and she couldn’t see, so she continued to eat. My sister and Dani knew the ants were there but continued to eat the s’mores anyways- stale and contaminated.
God confirmed something very important that I needed to see. When we want something so badly, we have to get permission from him first. At the sense of any conviction, do not overstep the Holy Spirit.
Just like with Dani’s mom, there are times when people try to tell us what God is trying to show us, but we fail to listen because we can’t see it and it’s too sweet to stop. Other times, we see the issue blatantly yet we ignore every sign because we think it has to get better as time goes on, or maybe we just don’t care. We keep going and keep partaking in something that’s stale and needs to be thrown out and left behind.
Tradition and pattern are hard to break. But there comes a time when God says “not this time, stop continuing the same pattern. I have something better for you.”
He did indeed. It came in the form of pink flamingo ice cream in a cake cone. The next day I enjoyed my family as I watched my nephew eat ice cream for the first time. The joy I got out of what waiting far outweighed what I desired the night before. It was almost as if God winked at me.
Whatever that s’more is in your life, stop partaking. Ask God for permission before you continue doing what you’ve always done- and if he tells you to wait, just know that what he has for you will be as good as pink flamingo ice cream.
Thank you for joining me in my journal to Finding Grace.
Enjoy the journey…