© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
51 The Consolation Prize By Carol Pearson One day recently I reached for a chocolate bar. It was far too hot to bother to get anything else to eat and, anyway, I felt pressured by others and a bit down. Things weren't going too well; that sinking feeling down into "depression" was crowding in on me. As I reached for the chocolate, I realized again how many times I had done this before. It had become a well-worn path over more than fifty years of my life! Yes, I wanted it somehow to be a consolation to me at that very moment! I knew, Even if I'd done something wrong or just hadn't quite achieved, the chocolate WOULD help me to feel "Just a bit better about myself and my situation! Again (as I had many times before) I reminded the Lord that I had been concerned about my "habit" (to eat this wonderful tasting "stuff" for a while now but I was powerless to do anything about it. I told Him again that I wanted Him to reveal any root cause and show me if I should leave it alone completely. Again, I found myself thinking that perhaps I could just cut it down. At that point "discipline" came to the fore and I ate just a third of the bar and put the rest away until another time! Later that day my mind flashed back to the thoughts I had when taking the chocolate and then, as if a light had been turned on, I found myself thinking about an occasion much earlier in my life when I was a junior at boarding school. I recalled much detail of this memory, although this has not always been the case when the Lord has healed me from past wounds and wrong thinking. At that time we had a visit from a researcher who was most interested to learn how blind people "tick", what sort of things we could do, how imaginative we were and whether we could learn a complicated little route. His test were quite numerous and varied and I quite enjoyed them. We listened to a series of noises and had to tell a story around them, adding to the story as each noise was given to us. We had a maize through which we had to walk and most of us got horribly lost. We had yet another test which involved working out exactly where a sound came from. There were others also, but I don't remember them now. I do however remember that after each test we were rewarded with small bars of chocolate. It seemed to me that some friends got more than others, and perhaps this was because they were better at the tests but it may have been because they were "the favorites", and of course I didn't like that very much. However, we all got some chocolate each time a test was given and that was the best part of taking the tests and made it all worthwhile! Truly, when we had done badly, the chocolate was a consolation! As I had seen that flashback to that memory so clearly, I then saw His truth as He revealed it to me! "That's right, Lord," I said: "The chocolate was 'my consolation' - it was given to me whether I did well or badly. I reflected, "It was given at other times in my childhood also. It was the way to say "Thank you very much, little girl, for your services" as, on a number of occasions, I was forced to please relations and friends of the family as they allowed their sexual desires to have full pleasure as they did what they wished with a small, frightened child. The chocolate bars were the presents for "being a good little girl and saying nothing to anyone about these terrifying experiences!" Again, the bars of chocolate were given as a consolation from Daddy when there was nothing else he could give to me when he had been away working and I had not been able to understand where he was and why he had left me! Yes, they were my "consolations" and "my comforts" and I enjoyed them! I understood a long time ago that people often took comfort in their eating and even knew that I did it myself, but now, as He spoke into my situation and thinking, this became personal to me. I was able to understand where this root had its beginnings and to face the lies which emerged every time I ate the chocolate! I knew how Dad had felt so much better when he gave me the chocolate on his return from another work trip, but the gift he bore each time soon became a "must" for his little girl who needed the comfort she thought it afforded! The chocolate had also served to help those who took me to their beds to feel better about what they had done to me and be reasonably sure that I would keep quiet. I had to face it though, that it only satisfied for a little while, then I needed some more to be "my fix" for depression, loneliness, bereavement, disappointments and so many other problems in my life. I needed that chocolate time and again! What a ghastly state. I knew without a doubt that I was certainly no better than those who abuse their bodies with drugs and alcohol and all I could do was to cry out to the Lord for His victory for me! I acknowledged before my Heavenly Father that I had substituted all that He had to give to me and all that He would do for me with "my temporary fix" of chocolate. For years, I had said time and again that I wanted to know the riches of God and His abundance in my life, but over and over again I had chosen my own comfort! I knew I had treated my Heavenly Father very badly in taking the chocolate instead of asking for His mercy and great riches. I poured out my heart to Him and asked His forgiveness. Then I waited quietly to see what He would say to me. I knew He would speak because otherwise I would be left with a problem far too big for me to address! I knew well enough that He would not leave me comfortless but He would come to me! (See John 14:18.) He had spoken those words to me, as He did to His disciples, on a number of occasions during my walk with Him, so they were very precious! He showed me a picture. A tiny baby lay in His arms. (Yes, that baby was me.) There was a large comfort blanket tucked under my chin. I had been sucking it, because it was my comforter. As I fell asleep, He gently removed it. Then, something else happened. He spread me out in front of Him and began to breathe into my nostrils. I was receiving the very life of God Himself! I could no longer use that blanket to meet my needs because now they were being met by the very breath of God as He continued to fill me! I had nothing to do except just to lie there and take in the pure sustaining Spirit of God! Now that He has spoken clearly to me and answered my prayers, I know my need can no more be met with a bar of chocolate! When I find, for any reason, that I am not coping with pain and grief, fear and frustration, or anything at all that separates me from Jesus Christ and causes me to move from my place of rest, I have to go directly to the One Who Satisfies. Taking the chocolate first and then going to My Father in Heaven is no longer an option for me. He requires that I go straight to Him and find He has more than enough to supply all my need! I have thanked Him that, by His grace alone, He will work this in me to His glory! It has been very important here that God has come to me in answer to my prayers and spoken with me about this problem I had in my life. Hearing from others about the hold of a habit in a life and even agreeing with them is not enough! We have to invite the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to come in and take His rightful place. He is gracious and heals and restores. He does not condemn us for our weakness. He understands it and makes us strong as He deals with everything that we have placed before Him in our lives. There are some who believe that they do live completely without sin in their lives now that they are Christians. Well, I long for that day to be true in my life, but I choose right now to acknowledge the truth and confess God's Word, as the Apostle John wrote in his first letter: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 AV). One day I will know the joy of the power of Jesus living always and forever in my life. Meantime, I do still reach for that chocolate occasionally, but now have a far greater understanding of what I'm doing (yes, committing sin) if I take it to pacify some need in my life which God wants to meet! Then I have to confess it, get up again and go on giving all to Him and asking Him to show His power in me! I don't know what things you find yourself reaching for when the going gets tough, but He knows and, if you will only ask Him, He will work a miracle in your life that will free you from any bondage however long you have been bound by it! We cannot free ourselves but we can want Him to free us! He is our God and He has the right to say to us, "You shall have no other god but Me"! That simply means having nothing to depend upon (trust or rely upon) or give our affections to that takes His rightful place! We can be in bondage to many things or people. We have wrong relationships where we seek to serve another person, (sometimes allowing our flesh to be gratified). We go on doing what pleases others and not what pleases God! We get into such messes and cannot help ourselves out of them. Praise God! He waits to be gracious to us and to free us from everything that does not glorify Him! God doesn't give Himself as "a consolation". He gave Himself fully when He sent His son to die on a cross for each one of us, taking with Him all the sin of a fallen, depraved world! He doesn't offer a consolation prize for being good because none of us are good in His eyes, but He does offer us His grace in abundance which brings us from darkness into His wonderful light and sets us on course to gain that prize of eternal life with Him which He has for every one of us if we will live according to His rules! Put very simply, we win only as we put Him first in all things and love Him with all our mind and soul and strength and that means putting nothing before Him and allowing Him daily to satisfy all the longings of our grieving, hurting, wounded, sin-sick souls. Will you go there with me and offer up to Him whatever it is that you reach for to satisfy every pain that you bear today? If you will do this, He will give to you much, much more than you could ever dare to imagine. If you want to do this but need help to share your pain and suffering with Him, Safe Place Fellowship offers you help and security as you find your way through whatever troubles you to that place of wholeness in God as we find His provision to be sufficient for all our needs!