Tuesday, 3 November 2015

God first, then chocolate

Hello internet friends! I apologise for my lengthy absence. It has been a very busy semester but I am back (for the moment) so yay!

Hands up if you love chocolate? If you don't (madness!) I imagine there are other indulgences in your life, be it Netflix, coffee, gardening or particularly scrumptious crumpets with butter and jam (I could really go for some of those right now).

And it's not bad to enjoy these things!

But we must acknowledge that they do not solve the problem. Yes, despite what the television tells you chocolate will not make everything better. Nor will delicious crumpets (*sigh*).

It's not even necessarily bad to have these things when you're feeling bad. My dad's go to "cheer-up-crying-daughter" solution is hot chocolate. But lately he started praying for me first and then administering the delicious brew.

His reasoning was this: Yes, hot chocolate cheers you up but what you really want is not the actual beverage but the feeling of love and care when I make it for you. That's fine but what you really need is God's love. So I'm still going to make you hot chocolate but I want to pray for you first.

An interesting effect of this is that I have since stopped wanting hot chocolate as much. I still enjoy it and get all the warm fuzzies when someone makes it for me but I don't crave it in the same way.

To me this indicates that dad was right and what I was really craving was the love of God.

It is not unusual for me to turn to food or other sources of comfort when I am sad or stressed. But before long I will find that it does not satisfy and the negative feeling is not displaced. This is especially true when I am feeling particularly depressed and having a bad mental health day. I will drain people dry trying to fill up the emptiness and hurt inside but it never works.

I thought this was a beautiful quote from Nick Vujicic.

Lately I have been disciplining myself to turn to God first, and then chocolate. Within reason it's okay to have the chocolate:

"All things are lawful but not everything is profitable."

But chocolate will not solve my problems, it will not love me and it certainly will not save me. So, let us turn to the one who gives us rest for our souls (Matthew 11: 29) before we take another bite of that Hershey bar.

I was inspired, in part, by this great post by Eva Bridges who is a Christian missionary in Israel. I've referred to this post before, and it continues to have an impact on me! I encourage you to give it a read.

God bless and have a wonderful week.

Photo credit:
(1) Image by condesign. Public domain.
(2) Image by Church Iglesia. Used under CC license.
(3) Image by jubileelewis. Used under CC license.