I was in the grocery store yesterday, purchasing peanut butter, contemplating which brand I should buy. My wallet told me to buy a cheap one. God told me to buy an expensive one.
For most people, peanut butter shouldn’t be a tension point with God. It was with me. And he was showing me His love through smashed legumes (yes, peanuts are legumes, not nuts).
This is why peanut butter was a moment of conflict:
- Three months ago, I started dating a guy.
- Three weeks ago, I announced to the world I’m dating him.
- Three days ago, I packed my bags and left my place of residence because of a text stating, “choose God or your sin.”
I found myself standing in the grocery store aisle feeling dejected and alone, fending for myself with $125 to my name. I had bills to pay and gas to buy. The run to the grocery store was for the essentials: milk, cereal, bananas and peanut butter. All of the cheapest quality to save what little money I had.
But standing in the aisle, feeling dejected and alone, fending for myself, I hear God whisper, “Buy a good peanut butter. Buy one you want.”
And thus began the argument.
“That’s $3 more that I could spend on something else.”
“I have $125.”
“I misbehaved! I don’t get to be provided for!”
There it was: a deep belief that I get love if I behave.
I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but there’s a belief that I get love and all its benefits if I behave well.
My friends will stick around if I behave.
I’ll be “anointed” for ministry if I behave.
God will bless and provide for me if I behave.
If I would have packed my bags as a full-time minister, not dating a guy, with a “superior moral caliber,” everything in me would have trusted that God would have taken care of me regardless of the lack of money in my possession.
But dating a guy?
But after a text like that?
But when people around me say, I’m the “prodigal child,” living in sin?
God won’t take care of me there.
I’m dejected and alone, fending for myself. And myself only has $125.
And there… in that place, I hear God whisper, “Buy the expensive peanut butter. Because a good dad takes care of his kid, regardless if he’s behaving or not. You’re bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, when you’re behaving or misbehaving, when you’re a monk or a misfit. My blood pumps through your veins at all times. It can’t leave. We’re bound to each other in pain or promise, poor or plenty, and I’ll take care of you because I love you… because you’re my kid, my son, my child, my beloved one. I’m not going anywhere… Now buy the expensive peanut butter.”
Walking out of the grocery store with bananas coconut milk, cereal, peanut butter and now $111.28, I tried to trust unconditional love.
I’m trying to trust unconditional love.