A friend came to my house just to hang out during junior high (which I understand is an archaic term now). We decided to eat some rhubarb, and after plucking the stalks, I took a bite. “Don’t you have any sugar?” she asked.
Well, this was the beginning of my love affair with rhubarb…and sugar. She taught me to put a little sugar in the palm of my hand and dip in the rhubarb before every bite. Before I tasted that decadent goodness, I’d been content with my rhubarb just the way it was. I didn’t know any different. I liked the juicy, tart flavor. Now, I felt like I was having dessert!
How Sweet It Is!
I have a sweet tooth that doesn’t end. I can’t relate when others claim, “Oh, no more for me, it’s too rich.” Never gonna happen. If it’s real rich—just eat it slower (my personal philosophy about dessert). After my husband and I were married, I’d occasionally pick up a Snickers bar from the grocery store and get one for him too. I’d present it to him and he’d just look at it. I was just “doing unto others” and giving him what I liked. He didn’t eat it. After this scenario replayed several times, I finally got it. He didn’t have my sweet tooth. Lucky him!
Before sugar, I was content with rhubarb au naturel, just as God created it. I guess you could say God created sugar also, well…sort of. He gave us the sugar cane and beet and we used the brains He gave us to refine it and turn it into part of our everyday lives. I guess the question is this:
Am I going to be stubborn and say I’ll never eat rhubarb without sugar again? Will I ever be content to eat it plain again, now that I’ve tasted how wonderful it is when you sugar-coat the tartness?
God knows what kind of life will bring out the best in us. He knows me. He knows I like life simple. My life is rhubarb au naturel. I could easily live off grid (but please give me the sweetness of indoor plumbing). Some sweetness for me would mean a dishwasher or central air conditioning or two newer cars. There is nothing wrong with some of our desires for the stuff in life that makes it a little easier. Maybe your sweet tooth wants to be out of debt (God wants this too, btw), or maybe it’s new appliances, or a spouse that shares your dreams.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
God wants what is best for me. I have to choose to trust Him in this. The stuff that makes this temporary life on this planet more comfortable, more sweet…is just stuff. God is the grower of the rhubarb that is our life. In Him is where the true sweetness lies.
With all that we know today about nutrition and man-altered foods, sugar gets a bad rap. God knows just how much sweetness He can allow us without causing harm. As parents, we want our children to be healthy. So does God. He allows us some sugar now and then, but He always knows just how to manage our diet so we don’t crave it. He teaches us to love what He places on the table. He wants good things for His children.
For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11 Amplified
What About You?
Are you struggling with the “I WANTS,” or do you feel like you are being cheated out of having a better life? Do you want to keep up with the Joneses? Are there yearnings deep in your heart for changes in your life? Ask yourself if these changes are what God wants for you. Will they make you love and honor Him more? Will these changes cause you to lean toward Him or away from Him? There’s a saying I think bears merit:
“If life is not the way you like it, like it the way it is.”
God Knows Best
Just as we see the unseen harm in giving our children everything they wish for, so our heavenly Father wants to give us our heart’s desires, but may not give us our mind’s desires. Life is fraught with frustrated imaginings of the mind’s desire. And, as my husband likes to quote Spock (Star Trek, not the doctor from last century):
“…having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”
From the Amok Time episode
Recommended readings to help you find contentment:
- Psalm Chapter 84
- Philippians Chapter 4
- Psalm 37:16-17
- Psalm 103:5,
- Psalm 107:8-9,
- Proverbs 15:16,
- I Timothy 6:6-8
- Hebrews 13:5