THE CONSOLATION PRIZE


                               By Carol Pearson



         Copyright:  Carol Pearson - July 2005 - All rights Reserved
      



          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 realised 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
     tests   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 favourites", 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!


                               End Of Document

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     Phil Scovell
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