I started to believe that the bag of Brach’s jelly beans was the worst thing that ever entered my home. I opened the bag and treated Adela for finishing her school work. I put a few into her tiny little hands and then returned to chores. Within seconds she was back. She needed more.
With my refusal, the begging started, followed by whining, and trailed by the first tantrum I had seen from her in months.
Frustrated and at my wits end I took her outside and we walked around together until she calmed down.
But she had not forgotten the candy.
“Mamá, I need a little more. Please, give me the jelly beans. Please.”
The whining grated on my ears. I gritted my teeth. “No, Adela. You don’t need them. Why don’t you have a cheese stick?”
She considered for a moment and then sighed. “Okay.”
Returning to the house I gave her the cheese stick. She ended up consuming three of them and a cup of water before settling into play. I shook my head, realizing that it hadn’t been about jelly beans, really. She was hungry.
Bemused, I considered what “Jelly Beans” I have in my life. We all have things we use to refuge deep hurts, quick Band-Aids to cover wounds without fighting for a true cure. For me, television and social media are go-to’s when I feel frustrated. But, while they distract, they rarely fix anything. Whatever I am unsatisfied with, it waits for me to turn off the television or computer.
I always think, “Just a little more.” Just a little more time watching that movie or reading that book or catching up with friends and I would have felt emotionally solid again. Or, just a little more chocolate and I would no longer feel disappointed or sad. Or, just a little more coffee and I would have the energy to be a fantastic mother today.
None of those will ever fix me. If I really want to find emotionally stability, joy, and energy then I need to dig for reasons behind my hurt. Just like Adela and her desperate need for jelly beans-- if I had gave in, her body would have still craved good nutrients and hydration.
Jesus’ warning in Luke 21:34 speaks deep to my heart:
Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.(NIV)
There is so much around us that can weigh us down and we will always crave more until we learn to go to God for real answers and healing.
Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth.
What do you always find yourself needing “just a little more” of?
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"...and God was already there with me."