My sweet girl is standing beside me in the grocery store, in the produce section, jumping up and down chanting "Carrots. Carrots, Mommy. Please, please, please. Can I have these carrots? I'll pay for them with my own money!" She was grinning from ear to ear.
I did a double take. Was this child of mine truly asking, no pleading, for a bag of carrots? Did she truly say she would pay for them herself?! Sure enough, my daughter stood there holding a small bag of seven inch long carrots. About eight of them to be exact. Nope, not candy. Not ice cream. Not a new toy or electronic device. Carrots....
Here are some of the essential vitamins and nutrients that come from raw carrots:
- Vitamin A (almost 700 percent of the daily value)
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B3
So, how many children do you know who would ask, no beg, for a carrot........?
Then I asked myself, how many times do I ask God for a carrot? Seriously. A spiritual carrot. How many times do I come to Him pleading for a not-so-tasty treat in my life that will, in the long run, have tremendous benefits for me. That testing, that trial. That hard thing. Those experiences that grow me from the inside out. That mold me and shape me into the person He wants me to become. To make me more like my Savior, Lord and King....
How many times do I ask Him to let me suffer for His sake? How many times do I say "Bring it on, Lord, so that YOUR glory be revealed!" or "Let me serve you so that others may see YOU!" Do I ever ask Him for an entire bag of carrots? How many times do I ask for His divine, not of this world, gifts....
The answer is "Not often enough...."
The beauty of many of His gifts are not in the packaging. Many times they are in the pain. They don't always look good, taste good, or feel good to our flesh. But they do tremendous good: for our spirits, our eternal journey, for the 'others' in our lives, and for Him. Yes, these precious gifts can be hard to chew and even harder to swallow; however, the long term benefits outweigh the momentary struggle within.
And, I will take another good, deep look at this verse:
And, now is the time for me to be reaching for that bag of carrots because there, in that hard place, I will find His beauty and His blessing..... Amazing what can happen on a trip to the grocery store. Care to join me in a snack for His glory?