“Just one more cookie, mom! Please?!” my toddler begged in the middle of our family prayer meeting. “I ate my whole dinner!”
“You already had a cookie, sweetheart.”
“But there are leftovers, and we are allowed to have more if our parents say it’s ok.”
“Buddy, if you eat more cookies, you’ll get a belly ache later. I’m just trying to help you avoid that.”
He continued his articulate defense while I calculated the cost of law school for this kid. Seeing this as a possible teaching moment, I decided to let him indulge in several more cookies. You can guess what happened.
Before we even scrubbed the sugar off his teeth, he began to complain of a stomach ache. He struggled to fall asleep. He was cranky. When he woke up the next morning, he declared that he would no longer eat that many cookies at once. He had learned his lesson. At least for now.
I’ve had many cookie moments with Jesus.
I taste something delicious and want to indulge, whether literally or figuratively. I argue my case like a toddler blinded by processed sugars. God reminds me that He is my true nourishment. The cookies won’t help me feel better like I think they will.
Nevertheless I sneak all the metaphorical cookies off the table. And, respecting the free will that He gave me, He lets me. Because He is a good and wise Father. He knows I will make myself sick. He knows that I’m not listening to His warnings and that I am vain in my reasoning (see Romans 1:21), so He hands me over to “the lusts of my hearts” (see Romans 1:24) because I’d rather have a lie than the truth of God (see Romans 1:25).
And every time this happens, my belly aches. My soul aches. I crawl into the Father’s arms because I can’t fall asleep. I’m cranky. I learn my lesson. At least for now.
If you’ve also eaten all the cookies of comfort or pleasure or esteem or perceived belonging, come to Christ with a repentant heart. He is our true nourishment and satisfaction and wants to help us never give in again.
Learn a few new details about the person whose feast we celebrate today, Saint Teresa of Avila.
Olivia Spears lives in Kentucky where sweet tea and bourbon flow like milk and honey. She is the Blog Manager for Blessed is She and works from home as an editor and social media manager. She likes to binge novels and Netflix while raising her children and laughing with her husband. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up and our Advent devotional book, All the Generations. You can find out more about her here.