Posted by: William | January 21, 2008

The Real Treat

I was reading yesterday after a long day of not reading and getting other things done that I needed to do. I was reading from a commentary on Colossians, it was about 7:00 pm, a couple hours after dinner, and I put down my book to go into the kitchen and get an ice cream sandwich out of the freezer. Our family likes to keep them on hand. I admit, my getting up in the first place was at least partially due to a slight lack of attention and vigor in my study.

On the way back to my reading, I was struck with something unusual. I was walking into my bedroom, the blinds on the window behind my chair were open and I stopped, focusing intently on unwrapping my ice cream sandwich. I’m uncertain what exactly caused what happened next, but somehow the sharp sound of the paper unwrapping in the quiet room and being visible through an open window, I was cut to the heart. I was acutely aware of the thing in my hands; it was a ‘treat’.

I began to well up. I knew I didn’t deserve the thing I held. I deserve no treats. It was like being naked. Through the open window the whole world could see me foolishly indulge myself, proudly and unduly congratulate myself. I became quickly sentient that no good thing dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. That grace is, by definition and in reality, undeserved. Similar, but in a way unlike the ice cream sandwich, God’s affection for me wasn’t mine to simply go and retrieve.

I sat in my chair quietly praying through tears for some time. I reflected on my foolishness, not in getting an ice cream sandwich, but in thinking that I deserve anything less than death; what a gracious God I have in Jesus Christ that he would have mercy on a sinner such as myself.

Jesus, I beg you, for the sake of your glory, give me and your church humility to walk before you in gratitude for what you have freely given; for what is yours only to give. In gratitude for what you have done in us who are yours, to bring us to belief in you. Jesus, draw us near to you and for your glory, satisfy our hearts!

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Responses

  1. Incredible how such a simple act and such a simple thing can be used to foster such a profound feeling.

    Praise be to God, who teaches continually, encourages love, and breaks the pride of the haughty!

  2. While the gift itself is simple, the manner in which it is offered and received is awe inspiring.

    Hey, I thought you were lactose intolerant?

  3. Yeah man, an ice cream sandwich? wow. Good words. How important it is to be reminded of how unfair our salvation is. Thanks.


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