See this box of chocolates? My husband just walked into my office where I was praying for God to reveal Himself to me in His unique way, and plopped this down on my desk. Hmmmmm. Was this a sign? Is God trying to tell me that I should keep eating chocolates well into the new year?
Does this mean that it was okay for me to dig two chocolates out of the garbage where I had thrown them in righteous resolve on January Second? Okay, so I only took one bite out of each of them after dusting them off a little — I couldn’t stand it any more! They called to me all day long! — and then I threw them back in the garbage and carried the garbage out of the house so I couldn’t hear them calling.
Does this mean it was okay for me to eat the entire bag of homemade turtles that Gerry plopped onto my desk just before Christmas? I did not intend to eat the whole thing but I am a finisher — I usually finish what I start. That’s why I don’t start much. Before I knew it the bag was empty.
You and I both know my chocolate binge has to stop, unless I plan on increasing my dental budget and pants size! No, I think there was another message for me in this latest chocolate drop-off. I think God was saying what I needed to hear as this new year begins and I seek His guidance for my future in Christian ministry. He was saying, “Watch for Me.”
If you have been a Christian any time at all you know, or have been told, God loves you and has a plan for your life. What you might not know by experience, and one possible reason you are having difficulty following God one yes at a time is you haven’t learned to recognize His divine incentives that encourage us to press on, and you are not experiencing the rewards of following Him. In other words, you are blind to the proofs of God.
Some friends of mine, born and raised in Germany, love hiking. They traveled all over the world, working on cruise ships as young adults, and hiked on their days off work every time the ship docked. They settled at long last in Calgary, Alberta so they could be close to an endless source of hiking trails in the nearby Canadian Rockies. When they were nearing 40, they had two babies in two years but kept right on hiking by packing them on their backs. When the toddlers grew too heavy to carry, they decided to train them to hike. After much coaxing, crying, and eventually, carrying, they wound up cutting their hikes short and turning back in frustration. Finally, they came up with a plan.
Along with the extra socks, bug repellant, sunscreen, moleskin, hats, rain capes, healthy snacks and water; they added a bag of individually wrapped chocolates. On the next hike, daddy jogged ahead a short distance and put two chocolates on the trail and then came back and he and mommy played a counting game: “Fifty steps to the chocolate!” Their initial hikes were short – no more than “four chocolates worth” since they were also health nuts, but chocolate-by-chocolate, little “Hansel and Gretel” learned to love hiking as their parents subtly began putting the chocolates further and further apart until finally, they only gave them as a reward once they reached their destination and ate their lunch. They always made sure to factor in enough time at the hike’s destination to thoroughly enjoy whatever it was they had traveled to see.
Chocolates on the trail
God does that for us who follow Him too. As a loving Father, He shows us the path He wants us to take; He clearly indicates the first step, making sure it is within our means to take it; He waits for us to say yes and step forward and begin walking; He places incentives at intervals along our path to encourage us to continue walking with Him; and He rewards us with Himself – a “hiking companion” whose presence gives us peace and power and whose provision ensures we have everything we need for the journey. (excerpt Following God One Yes at a Time)