Then you will live the kind of life that honors and pleases the Lord in every way. You will produce fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God. Then God will strengthen you with his own great power. And you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient. Colossians 1:10-11 (ICB)
Mom watched from around the corner as Lily snuck into the kitchen through the other way and loaded her bookbag with cookies. The rule at their house was no snacks this close to supper. Lily knew that but she’d had a pretty tough day at school and the cookies would help take away some of that butterfly stuff in her stomach. There were plenty of cookies in the bag and she knew no one would miss what she had taken. Besides, if no one saw her, then no one had to know.
As she headed upstairs with her bookbag, Lily felt a little tug at her conscience. It wasn’t so much about taking the cookies. It was more about breaking a rule that her mom trusted her to keep. But the tug wasn’t very hard and as she dumped the bookbag on her bed, the cookies spilled out along with her homework. They looked too good to wait for, so Lily stuffed the first and second ones in her mouth quickly. She changed her clothes and set her homework out on her desk, along with the remaining cookies. By the time she was done with her homework, all the cookies were gone. And Lily had a whopper of a stomachache.
Downstairs, Mom was wondering whether or not to call Lily on the cookie theft. Taking the cookies was something small, but breaking a household rule was something big. Mom decided to pray about it and listen for the Lord’s guidance and wisdom. She had discovered that He cared about ALL the things in her life, big and small, and knew that He would show her what to do. It wasn’t long before she heard the bathroom upstairs working overtime. And she knew the Lord was working all things together for good.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Mom had fixed Lily’s favorites for supper – macaroni and cheese, little hot dogs, green beans, pears and pudding for dessert. She couldn’t help but smile as she saw Lily’s face. All her favorites and she didn’t really feel well enough to eat them. As Lily pushed the food around on her plate, Mom asked about her day. How did the math quiz go? Was her best friend Megan back yet from vacation? Was tomorrow’s homework finished? Lily gave one word answers and wouldn’t look up from her plate.
Finally, Mom had to ask. “Lily, is something bothering you?”
“I don’t feel very good, Mom,” Lily answered. Mom waited patiently for the rest of the story to unfold. Before too much longer, Lily confessed to taking the cookies, that she had eaten too many and that they had make her sick. She told Mom that she knew it wasn’t right but thought that it wouldn’t matter if no one saw her.
“Really, Lily?” Mom asked. “How did you feel before you even ate the cookies?”
“Well, kind of bad inside,” Lily confessed. “Even though no one saw what I did, it was still wrong.”
Lily’s mom came around and gave her a hug. She knew that Lily had learned a lesson. But she wanted Lily to know how important it was to live upright all the time, not just when someone was looking. “We are children of the King, Lily,” she said. “That means that God is our Father. We need to live worthy of that family name. All the time.”
Lily knew that Mom was right and that night she prayed that Jesus would help her to live worthy of her family name – all the time.
In the past you did not have the understanding you have now, so you did the evil things you wanted to do. But now you are children of God, so you should obey him and not live the way you did before. Be holy in everything you do, just as God is holy. He is the one who chose you. In the Scriptures God says, “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 (ERV)
Kim, a stander in Nebraska
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Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.