Devil in the Chips Ahoy

Lydia, on her own, decided to fast from chocolate this lent season. Observing lent and fasting is not in her parents' religious tradition (sadly), so we were thrilled to see her young heart grasp this concept when our congregation observed an Ash Wednesday service a couple of weeks ago.

I told her I would do it with her, so we both have been skirting the chocolate. When she wants chocolate, we pray together, and I think she has been praying on her own. And, we also have a plethora of other choices always at our grasp to combat a chocolate craving (which meets the letter of the law, but somehow violates the spirit of it I'm sure - if that makes sense ... or in other words, we probably should NOT be satisfying our fleshly craving with something else when we want chocolate, by choosing another flavor of ice cream or jelly beans instead of m&ms, but alas, she is seven and we are novice and this parenthetical phrase is long enough).

We went to the store today to get her some allergy medicine. She's finally lived long enough to inherit her mom's seasonal allergies, I'm sad to say.

At check-out, I absent-mindedly let Giles throw in a small box of Chips Ahoy. As we all were munching on one, before lunch, Grant observed ...


She was crushed and flushed with guilt. Neither one of us realized we were eating chocolate. Giles, the legalist among us, was incredulous that we could not notice we were eating darks specs of delicious chocolate. (Thanks for the support, sweetie).

I quickly told her that it was a mistake and God will forgive us because of his grace.

Later, as I looked at that stinkin' box of cookies again, God showed me what I might have told her earlier. That, like chocolate chips, sin creeps into our lives unsuspectingly, hiding in things we think are safe. Thank you Ephesians for the reference ...

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

But, even as the devil tries to trick us with chocolate chips, God's grace is always bigger than the devil's trickery, so we should never give up hope or give up trying.

We just had another talk about it when she also spied the stinkin box of cookies that I've since hidden from our view. I tried to share this "revelation" with her. The armor of God scripture has been something I've associated more with our boys, being little warriors to the fullest extent of their beings. Now this scripture has meaning for Lyd too ... (she concluded that the helmet of salvation includes a mouthpiece that will save us from chocolate).

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."