When I was little girl, I loved to eat pickles. It didn’t matter if they were Dill pickles, whole pickles, chopped pickles, sweet pickles, crunchy pickles, green pickles, oval pickles, or zesty pickles. As long as they were pickles, I loved them! I vividly remember, when I was seven years old, I quietly scooted the chair from our kitchen table over to the stocked pantry so I could reach the top shelf. You see there was a brand new jar of pickles beautifully displayed and calling out my name. As I climbed up on top of the chair and elevated my toes to the position of a ballerina on point, I reached as far as my arms would stretch and barely grabbed the glass container of my favorite snack! With my mouth watering at the thought of my first bitter-bite, I stood on that pedestal determined to eat what I came for. In no time, I began to devour and consume as many pickles that would fit in my mouth. Half way through the jar, my mom came into the kitchen and saw what looked like a tiger eating its prey. Looking back now, it is odd to me that she didn’t grab the jar out of my hand and forbid me to eat anymore. Instead she looked at me and said, “Holly, put down those pickles and stop eating them. They will hurt your stomach and make you sick!” Then she walked out of the room and like a typical seven year old I ignored her warning and kept filling my stomach. My sensational appetite dominated the truth that was spoken over me and I stayed determined to finish the whole container. I gobbled a total of at least two hundred pickles slices that morning. I quickly hid the evidence at the bottom of the trash can so that no one would know that I ate the whole thing. Stuffed as a teddy bear, I ran to meet my mom who was waiting for me in the car. I strapped on my seat belt and we took off to my dental appointment. At every twist and turn in the car I began to feel those pickles dancing around in my stomach. A woozy sensation washed over me like a tidal wave in the ocean and before I knew it those pickles danced their way back up and all over my mom’s brand new Cadillac. To say the least, my “secret” wasn’t a secret anymore!
I wonder if you see the “hidden message” in my story? You see, this memory of mine is a perfect representation of how we are tempted to eat what we think is good and the great lengths we take in order to consume it. Usually our temptation is packaged in a way that looks very appealing to our senses and even our taste buds, but could result in sickness or even spiritual death. Interestingly enough, just like my mom gave me the option to choose what was right and she didn’t grab the pickles out of my hand and make the choice for me, so does our heavenly Father treat us. This world offers many things and invites us to eat and partake of them, while God on the other hand offers us a diet that will bring LIFE. It’s up to us to make the healthy choice. God will not rip those unhealthy choices from our hands; instead He will lovingly give us the truth while offering us a well-balanced replacement. His counsel is always followed with a solution. Instead of speaking on His behalf, allow me to read straight from His mouth from Proverbs. “So listen, My daughters, to everything I tell you for nothing will bring you more JOY than following My ways. Listen to My counsel for My instruction will enlighten you; You’ll be wise not to ignore it. If you wait at Wisdom’s doorway longing to hear a word for every day, JOY will break forth within you as you listen for what I will say. For the fountain of life pours into you every time that you find Me, and this is the secret of growing in the delight and favor of the Lord” (Proverbs 8:32-35).