If someone were to ask you to describe God in one word, which of the thousands of adjectives would you use to do so? When I think of God, like many people, words like holy, righteous, omnipresent, loving and just, come to mind.
What about sweet? I can’t say that I’ve ever thought of God as sweet, not because He isn’t, but because I feel like the adjectives He deserves are more along the lines of those already mentioned. But to know Him personally, is to know His sweetness.
The other day while having lunch with a very dear friend the conversation drifted to what I was wearing. This particular day I decked myself out in bling. It was everywhere; on my shirt, all over my shoes and around my neck. My friend complimented me on the way I looked and on what I was wearing. In that moment I realized how far God had brought me.
After my husband and I got out of debt I went through a period of time where I decided that I was not going to care about my clothes or my makeup and just live simply. Besides, too much emphasis is put on the trivial, and I was guilty for sure.
I remember a conversation with God in which I questioned Him about why He just didn’t send me to some remote African village where the only item of clothing I would need was a piece of fabric to cover what needed to be covered. At least then I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this anymore. It would be so easy!
His response shocked me. “No! You will live in this culture and among these people and learn to do it well. I made you this way, to love beautiful things. You are the one who has made this personality trait ugly.” He was so loud I almost looked around to see if anyone else heard Him!
It’s true. Like everything God creates, we get our hands on it and warp it with our selfishness and the insane habit we possess of putting that thing at center stage of our lives, even down to something as shallow as shopping!
Shopping is not a necessity of life. Wearing beautiful things does not make or break my existence, but it’s something I enjoy. I love finding the bargain. I love sifting through the stacks of ick and finding that one gem that I believe will transform my entire wardrobe! More amazingly is the fact that I worship a God who created me this way and rewards me with the gift of participating in this one activity every once in awhile.
Matthew 7:11 says,
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him” (NIV).
In response to my friend’s compliment the other day, I just responded with, “It’s the sweetness of God.” What else can I say?
In a way God has given me back me, only a much better version of myself. Sometimes the self-imposed limits we put on ourselves is the leading of the Holy Spirit to get us to a place of right relationship with that thing. But that doesn’t mean it will always be that way.
The opportunity to shop and enjoy it is something that I never expected to have again. Make no mistake, if God asked for it back in exchange for a simpler life somewhere more remote, be sure I would jump at the chance. But right now He’s put all of us in the exact place and time He wants us. The challenge is to do it well, and He is showing me that a life lived well is a life that is lived in collaboration with the Holy Spirit.
What are some examples of the sweetness of God in your own life? It can be as silly as shopping or as mundane as housework. Make no mistake: God is intimately involved in absolutely every area of our lives. Thank goodness.