What I walked away with was that I needed to remind myself that God loves to watch us smile, and would love to spoil us with chocolate pudding. As the parent of a teenager, I know something this youth pastor will learn as the years go by....sometimes we don't give our kids chocolate pudding even if it makes them smile, because it can also make them sick and hyper.
So as I started praying through I realized that we were both right. God has a desire to spoil us with chocolate pudding to watch us smile, but sometimes we only get a spoonful, not the whole container. Sometimes He reserves the chocolate pudding because He knows it's not the healthiest choice for us in the moment.
Remember the Mary Poppins song, "A Spoon-full of Sugar"? She tells the kids that a spoon full of sugar makes medicine go down much easier. Maybe sometimes we get a spoon full of chocolate pudding to get through the hard life lessons. Maybe sometimes we get the whole cup of chocolate pudding as a treat, just to make us smile. It still has nothing to do with deserving it, but simply to do with God's nature as a loving father. It's grace in its simplest form.
Isn't that the whole point really? We have this goal of teaching our children, disciplining them, training them, filling them with love. All of these to help them grow into the people that God intends them to be. We weigh through the options, the fruits & veggies, the treats, the giggles, the scoldings. We do it all simply because we love them and want the best for them. This is what God's goal is too, right? To help us become all He intended us to be?
I will thank Him every day for the cups of chocolate pudding, the spoon fulls, AND the days filled with only good food, no treats. I will focus on His grace and loving nature. I will remember that He is shaping me into the person He needs and wants me to be. I will have the faith, though sometimes small as a speck of dust, to trust in His plan, His time, His ways. I will struggle, argue, rebel, get put in time out, lose dessert, and always know that He still loves me because He is my daddy.
He wants the best for me, so how could I possible go wrong resting in that?