Back to Reality

I seriously need pics on here. It sure is boring looking at a whole page of words, but I didn't take my camera this weekend. Where did I go? A beautiful, family-built (just not my family) cabin in the mountains of southern North Carolina. My Bible study group went on a retreat to this fabulous, relaxing place which belongs to the parents of one of our Bible study friends. After a week of sick children, I really needed some refreshment. And, boy, did I get it.

There was the perfect mixture of spiritual stuff and just relaxing fun stuff. I'm not super close friends with many of the ladies who went, so it was wonderful getting to know them better. When I'm with this group, I am inspired to follow Christ more closely while being in awe of His presence in these ladies' lives. I am certainly not worthy to be a member of this group, but I'm so thankful God decided to put me here anyway.

During the time we spent focused solely on God, we read about Jesus' first miracle, turning water into wine. I was reminded of the beautiful revelations about God in that story. Mary, Jesus' mother, had such a straightforward faith in her son. "Just do what He says. He'll take care of everything." Then Jesus provides so lavishly. He gives the party-goers more than enough wine for their special occasion, and He doesn't use the cheap stuff. Only the best for Jesus - and those near Him.

I've always wondered about this miracle. Most of the miracles that Jesus performed were to help someone in dire physical and/or spiritual need, but this one seemed a little pointless. Okay, He can turn water into wine. But was that really important? Of course, to the ones hosting the wedding, it seemed important at the time, but it almost seems a little frivilous to me at first glance. When I ponder it, though, it is such a great picture of God's love for us and His provision for us in our lives.

I personally am not in great need of wine, but I do have needs. So many times, though, when I take my needs or worries or concerns to the Lord, I don't expect Him to meet those needs in an abundant way. In fact, I sometimes view Him as One who just witholds good things from me so that in my need and suffering He'll be glorified somehow. I think I'm just looking at the wrong things, though. He may not provide what I think I need in the abundant way I'm asking for it, but He is oftentimes providing in a more extravagant way than I could ever imagine. I'm just so busy looking at what I think I need from Him that I miss what He is wanting to provide.

As all good lessons do, this one included a visual. (By the way, this whole little study revolved around chocolate. Amazing, I know. Obviously, a woman came up with this.) We all took one Hershey's Kiss, unwrapped it, and set it in the palm of our hand. Sounds nice so far, right? Then we were told to close our hand around it and just sit there for a few minutes. Suddenly, we all went from delight at the chocolate in our hand to dread of the gooey mess that was to come. I personally HATE to have sticky, dirty hands so I REALLY didn't like this at all.

You've probably guessed, but we then looked at how this is a picture of the way we hold onto things in our lives until all we have left is a useless, disgusting mess that looks a lot like poo. And those things we hold onto can be good chocolate. I spend most of my life holding onto both my problems and my blessings so tightly that I totally miss the unimaginable, extravagant blessings God is wanting to pour into my life. My fists are tightly closed, unable to receive anything else - or anything better - from God.

Basically, if I would let go of my Hershey's, God might see fit to give me Godiva. And really, who goes back to Hershey's after the smooth, rich goodness of fancy Godiva chocolate? Still, I struggle to believe that 1) God will give me Godiva and 2) it will really be better than Hershey's. It all seems so simple while sitting in a cozy cabin, nestled in the beautiful mountains, surrounded by sweet, godly women. But spend 24 hours back at home, staring a trip to a tiny island in the face, and things seem hard again. My fists want to tighten, but I must focus on the truth.

Psalm 34: 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.

I'm struggling to experience God's goodness and sweetness, to trust that what He has is good and that He will reveal it to me and to my husband as well. I'm trying to believe that those who fear Him lack nothing, because I feel that my future is going to be lacking, whatever direction He leads us in. Emotions and feelings are so powerful, but I seek to override them with truth. I'm trying to let go of my second-rate chocolate and trust that, in time, it will indeed be replaced with the good stuff. Easier said than done.


  1. Ouch. In a good way. Thank you for sharing all this Amy.

  2. Sounds like a great weekend and I'm glad you got some rest.


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