Monday, July 21, 2014

Starbursts, headaches, and Jesus

I ate a starburst today.

For most of you, that might not seem like a big deal.  But for me, it was.  Let me explain.

Over the past 7 or so months I've been on a health journey to eliminate processed foods out of my life because I've found that I'm allergic to pretty much anything processed... specifically MSG.  It's not like my throat closes up or anything like that, but I get fairly severe headaches, my heart races, and I become really fatigued if I eat something that I shouldn't.

So today, when a coworker offered me a starburst, I took it.  I debated for a few minutes about whether or not it was a good idea, but it looked good and I was feeling frustrated with not getting the work I needed to get done finished because I has been problem solving all morning.

And then I got the headache.  From eating one lousy starburst.  The worst part is that, if I'm being honest, it didn't even taste that good.

And while I was thinking about what a stupid decision it was to eat that starburst while I was doing dinner dishes, God started nudging my heart.

That starburst seemed so small.  So insignificant.  Too often I make choices like that in my walk with Jesus.

I choose something small.  Something inconspicuous.  Something that doesn't seem like that big of deal.

But it is.  Before I know it, I have a sin sized head ache that is making it nearly impossible to function in a normal capacity.

A small choice that becomes crippling.

Sure, there are "band aid" fixes.  Just like when I ate the starburst and then a half hour later was reaching for the ibuprofen.  I can put up safeguards, be careful, and vow to do better.

But, in the end, they're just band aid fixes.

They don't offer any long term relief.

They don't get at the real problem: My heart. My desires.  My idols.

But Jesus isn't a band aid fix.  He offers real freedom.  Freedom from sin headaches from seemingly insignificant choices.

That's why I need Jesus.  That's why I need his forgiveness everyday.  That's why I need his grace.  That's why I need Jesus to change my heart, my desires, and to take control of my life.

I'm sure there will be plenty of other "starbursts" in my life, where I make a choice to sin in what may seem insignificant at the time, but turns into a significant break in my relationship with Jesus.

But it's in those times that I'm thankful that I can turn to Jesus.  I don't have to reach for a band aid fix.  I have a Jesus who heals.  A Jesus who restores my relationship with him.  A Jesus who forgives and works with me to change my heart so that my desires match his desires.

So much better than a band aid or ibuprofen.

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