Something quite amazing happened today . . . something that most people wouldn’t even think twice about. But for those of us walking this Thin Within journey – well it was a really big deal! It was the warmest afternoon here in Colorado Springs that we have had in a long, long time. Everywhere I looked there were people in shorts, capris and flip flops. The snowstorm and frigid temperatures of a week ago were forgotten as I picked up my girls from school and decided on a whim to take them out for ice cream. Why not? It seemed like the most perfect opportunity, and we didn’t have to pick up big brother from his school party for hours.
We all squealed with delight as we hopped in the car, rolled down the windows, turned up the music and headed to our favorite 50’s drive-in a couple of miles away. We were about half way there when I realized something – oh dear. I am not hungry, not even in the least. In fact I had had a late lunch only a couple of hours ago and was quite satisfied thank you very much. What to do?
My girls had no idea that I was struggling with this dilemma as we drove on and they discussed what kind of ice cream cone they were going to get. It wasn’t very long ago at all that I wouldn’t have thought twice about picking out an ice cream cone right alongside my girls whether I was hungry or not. But now, here in the car during this joyful family moment, I was having a whole conversation with myself in my mind . . . and to be honest, with my heart. Annoying questions popped into my head such as: If you only choose to follow your eating boundaries when you feel like it, how often will you really do it? Will it be worth it if you break your boundaries? How many years have you been breaking your boundaries and for what? What does God want for you? How will you feel later in the afternoon after you’ve had that nice, big, drippy ice cream cone that you weren’t hungry for? Is it ever worth it to break your boundaries? Will eating an ice cream cone with your girls right now make this a more meaningful moment for them, for us?
No. No, no, no, no. It’s not worth it – it’s not worth it now and it never has been worth it. We pulled up to the crowded drive-in and my girls excitedly ordered two junior ice cream cones – one dipped in rainbow sprinkles and one dipped in chocolate. The lady behind the window said, “Will that be all for you today?” And I say “Yes!” I half expected the entire group of restaurant customers that were sitting outside on picnic tables to stop talking and laughing, look at me and say “WHAT???!!!” But they didn’t. I half expected one or both of my girls to say, “Mom – aren’t you going to get one?” in disappointed voices. But they didn’t. There were no thunder claps or lightning bolts either. In fact, no one noticed at all . . . except me and God.
And all of a sudden I realized that it was a pretty cool moment between me and God. I could tell by the peace that I felt inside of me that He was pleased. I had not run to food this time – for any reason. I had fully submitted my will and let His will take over in my afternoon ice cream situation. Rather than feeding the hunger in my soul with food as I had done a million times before I let God feed my soul. It felt good, it felt right. And by golly a couple of hours later I was hungry again and you know what I did? I ate the last few bites of my youngest daughter’s ice cream cone that she had saved “for later” in the freezer when we got home. She offered it to me and I said “Don’t you want to eat the rest? You saved it from hours ago!” And do you know what she said? “No Mom, you can have it. I’m just not hungry!” 🙂
How about you?
Can you relate to my ice cream with sprinkles predicament? How does our loving God call us to act when we so desperately want to turn to food? Have you experienced the freedom and peace that comes from submitting completely to God in any given situation? God loves you more than you can imagine. What is He saying to you today?