Let’s be honest: some days are just plain hard!
If you’re like me, serving God can be a great joy and privilege, but sometimes we make it too complicated. Imagine my surprise when God used a simple ice cream to teach me a valuable lesson.
I had been at my desk all day struggling to write the same chapter I’ve been wrestling with for weeks. I was praying, studying, confessing and crying out to God, it’s just too hard!
At one point I thought I sensed God say, “let’s go for a walk.” However, I wasn’t sure, so I dismissed it. Besides, it was hot outside. So I stayed at my desk, papers and notes and my Bible spread out everywhere. By now, I was trying to suppress the nervous energy causing my legs to bounce incessantly. Then I heard it again, “Let’s go for a walk.” When the Spirit nudges you once and you’re not sure, God is gracious. The second time, it’s best to take notice.
So I put on my sneakers, and just before heading out the door, I remembered that I needed eggs. I was planning to bake treats for my Bible study group on Tuesday night. There was a drug store a few blocks away. I almost never take money with me when I go for a walk. This time, I grabbed my wallet and walked out the door. I headed toward the park as I usually do, talking and walking with God. (Not talking out loud, of course, lest I scare the neighbors).
That’s when I saw it. An ice cream truck was parked up ahead at the corner by the playground. I couldn’t even remember the last time I bought an ice cream from a truck. Just the fun of actually standing in line with the kids to buy an ice cream started to lighten my mood.
As God and I continued walking and talking as I ate my ice cream, I marveled at how pausing to enjoy such a simple treat could make such a big difference in one’s day. It was then that I sensed God say, “you see; it doesn’t have to be so complicated.” And I knew exactly what He meant. I had been wrestling with a lot of heavy theology, and in doing so, I was losing focus on the heart of the lesson: the delightful treasure; the sweet spot. Only later did I realize the added irony that the lesson I was writing begins with God’s command to Abraham, “walk with me” (Genesis 17:1).
As it turns out, sometimes ice cream really is the answer.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103 ESV)
This article is adapted from my Bible study, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me.
Shadia is a passionate Bible teacher, author and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She holds a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary and is author of several books and Bible studies.