Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Carrots. Carrots! Slender, crunchy, sunrise orange carrots!

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
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B3
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
Not to mention the health benefits of chewing on this brightly colored but not  really so tasty member of the veggie family.  (Always better with a little salt.) Loaded with antioxidents, Vitamin A, and Beta-Carotene which buddy up to help fight all types of cancer.  They also help regulate your blood sugar levels. In short, this boring but healthy snack is loaded with all kinds of things that do good things for you!

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....

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

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....

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

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.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Cor 9:15

I think I'm going to start viewing His gifts a little differently. I will pray more expectantly and a bit more introspectly. To be more completely transformed, to trade in my heart of stone for a heart of flesh, to break bonds and be released from strongholds I don't even realize exist. To surrender my plans for His, to offer myself up as a true servant of the Most High God. To let go. Of ALL of it.

For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. Hebrews 6:7-8

And, I will take another good, deep look at this verse: 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  James 1:17

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?