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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday Sermonette - What's Between?

Your iniquities have turned these things away, And your sins have withheld good from you. Jeremiah 5:25, NKJV.

Several evenings ago, I experienced God's anger for the first time. I'm telling you, it was a revelation. I was settling down to go to sleep, and God began speaking in that nebulous combination of feelings and impressions.

It was the anniversary of my husband's death, and I wanted something to sooth my ragged feelings. I chose chocolate. I made a big batch of fudge and ate a good bit of it. Not as much as I thought I would, mind you, but quite a bit, none-the-less.

It wasn't that I ate chocolate, nor was it the billions of sugar calories I'd consumed. It was that I had chosen chocolate to sooth me and ignored the One who would grant that beyond-understanding peace. I put chocolate between God and me, put it on the pedestal where God belonged.

At first, I started to make excuses. You know, the "But, God ..." stuff. "But God, chocolate is good for the--"

He cut me off in mid-thought with boiling fog. That's when I realized what I'd done wrong. God doesn't tolerate infidelity, and I had put something between Him and me.

You know, don't you, that God confirms His words, right? Well, a couple of days later, one of the nightly devotionals I read (Guideposts) had this little story. The writer had observed a daddy and his young daughter seated on a bench. The daddy moved the little girl's doll and storybook out from between them and said, "Why don't we move your stuff out of the way, so you can get closer to me?" The writer began to think about the things she put between herself and the Father: busyness, commitments, even family, church, volunteer work, and career.

I know this isn't the first time I allowed things to come between God and me, but for some reason, the chocolate thing bothered God enough that He'd finally had it enough to let me in on His disappointment.

Needless to say, I put the chocolate away. Or rather gave it away. I took most of it to a potluck and gave quite a bit to my neighbors. A chunk still resides in my freezer until I can eat it without making it more important than the Lord. For sure it will be until after Resurrection Day, and it might be a long time after that, even. Right now, it serves as a reminder that Jesus reigns, not chocolate.

What gets between you and God?

Lord, so many times I have made other things more important, and I suspect it will happen again, no matter what my good intentions are. I can't resist temptation without a lot of Your strength, so that's what I'm asking for in Your own Son's name, Amen.

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