There are few things more refreshing than a popsicle on a hot summer day. Recently, I was visiting with my mentor and her 18 month old grandson, Sonny. As we stood outside in the Florida heat, enjoying our popsicles, we noticed that Sonny wasn’t eating his. Holding tightly to the end of the popsicle stick, he was running around with popsicle melting down his little hand. As his grandmother tried to coerce him to eat his popsicle, advising him that he would like it, he quickly ran away, flailing and screaming, “No, no, no!” As he continued to run around, melting popsicle clinched in his hand, he was oblivious to the goodness he was missing out on. Then, with only a few small bites of the popsicle remaining, he finally decided he would try it. He then realized the deliciousness he was missing out on and quickly ate the tidbits that remained.
As I watched Sonny run around, delicious popsicle in hand, melting away, I thought about myself and the spiritual application of what I was witnessing. His grandmother gave him the popsicle because it was cool and refreshing and she knew he would enjoy it. Nonetheless, no matter how much she encouraged Sonny to embrace the goodness, he chose only to hold it in a tightly clinched fist. Boy, can I relate to that! Often times, the Lord, knowing what I need, knowing what is best for me, knowing what I will enjoy, provides for me. What is my response? I am ashamed to say, frequently my response is just like Sonny’s. I run away, flailing and screaming, with God’s goodness clinched in my hand, oblivious to what He has given me and uncertain of what I am going to do with it.
There are times that I find myself dealing with situations and circumstances that I don’t understand. Without direction and guidance, I feel as if the Lord has left me, stranded on an island, to fend for myself; only to realize that I put myself on that island. You see, God may give me the resources, the “goodness,” that I need, but if I all I do is keep them tightly clinched in my fist, choosing not to embrace them, I will never experience the goodness God intended.
So, why am I so oblivious to His provision or why can’t I just trust Him? Why can’t I just embrace what God gives me? Why can’t I take the gifts, resources, challenges, wisdom, relationships, etc., why can’t I just take what God gives, do what he asks me to do, and embrace the goodness that will follow?
Well, I don’t really have a good answer for that. Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s a lack of faith, maybe it’s stubbornness. I don’t really know why. But, what I do know is, I serve a God that does supply all of my needs, He knows the desires of my heart, He knows what is best for me, He knows me better than I know myself, He enables me when I am unable, He works all things together for my good, and He loves me beyond explanation. Time and time again, He has given me His “goodness” and patiently allowed me to run around, clinching it in my fist, refusing to embrace it, oblivious to how good it really is. All the while, He knows that eventually, I would come to the realization that His provision is never anything less than perfect!