Seven years ago, Mrs. Petty, an elderly Christian lady, approached me at a potluck holding a scrumptious piece of apple pie and asked, “Christina, if I ask God to bless this apple pie, will He?” I said, “Why not?” In a loud whisper, she said, “Because, I’m diabetic.” I thought to myself, “Hmm. I need to consult Yeshua (Jesus) on this one.”
I knew Mrs. Petty wanted me to say “yes” but instead, I gently responded, “Um. I don’t think God will bless it.” Before I could say another word, she stammered, “Well, why not!” I quietly replied, “If you eat that sugar-laced piece of apple pie and have an insulin reaction, I might have to call 911. In God’s dictionary, a blessing is anything that benefits your eternal welfare. Since you’re diabetic, I don’t think that piece of pie falls into that category.” Her response? “Well, I’m just going to share it with my husband then” and walked off. Today, she has Alzheimer’s Disease and many other ailments.
I’ve always remembered that event. It showed me how as Christians, we want God to bless our lives yet too often, we’ve already made our decision on how He should answer. When He doesn’t answer in the way we desire, we refashion Him to fit our comfort zone. This, in fact, is the greatest form of idolatry for we have created God in our own image. We make Him our comfort God.
With Mrs. Petty, I was trying to ”love her to Life” instead of “love her to death.” It’s easy to “love people to death.” Satan’s a master at that. You just give them whatever they want and not what they truly need. But Mrs. Petty is not unique in her view of God. One time a Christian surgeon told me point blank, “I’d rather die happy, than healthy.”
God is about “loving us to Life.” That’s why He’s training our thoughts to be like His thoughts, our ways to be like His ways. That’s why in His love, He’ll always give us what we need but not always what we want. When God led Israel out of Egypt, He drew them out of bondage and death so they could worship Him and experience eternal Life.
In Greek, the words for eternal life are zoe aionios. It’s the kind of life that is given to all true believers in Yeshua. The essence of the word, eternal, does not refer so much to the duration of time as it does, quality of life. Thus, eternal life can be experienced by believers living in the temporal conditions of this earthly life. That is why Yeshua passionately expressed in John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death in life.”
In the wilderness, God showed the Israelites what eating the true Bread and drinking the true Water meant in terms of eternal blessings versus what they imagined them to be. He was preparing them for their marriage to Him at Mt. Sinai. Today, God is preparing us for His wedding supper! He says, “Be holy as I am holy.” Holiness is merely God’s state of health or well-being. So step out of your comfort zone and let God love you to Life instead of allowing Satan, you or others love you to death.