Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Substitutes

I've mentioned before that there are some food products that we can't get here. So when making some recipes I have to substitute something I can't get here with something that I can get. For example, I can't get buttermilk so I make it by adding vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk. That milk curdles right up and does whatever buttermilk is supposed to do in my recipe.

I can't get baking chocolate so I use cocoa powder and cooking oil in it's place. Dream Whip (sent to me from the states, which comes in packages that you add milk and vanilla to) is used in place of Cool Whip. A Cadbury Bourneville dark chocolate bar cut into chunks make great chocolate chips.

Even people in our lives become substitutes. We live far away from grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. So our friends become family substitutes. They cheer my kids on at sports events, take them for ice cream, have them over to spend the night, read to them, hug them, listen to them, give them advice, they invest in their lives - just like real family would if we lived near them in America (or even saw them at holidays!). They have become my substitute sisters and brothers, people who laugh and cry with me. People I can call on for help if I need it.

Yet as hard as I may try, I can find no substitute for God. People have been trying since the beginning of time. They've tried to make themselves God, or worshipped a golden calf, or bowed down to a piece of wood. Sometimes they danced before a golden statue of a king. Yet none of them could measure up to GOD. Ever. Just go back and read about Elijah in 1 Kings 18. Or King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3.

I've done that in my own life. Even though I love God and have a close relationship with God, my selfish flesh still wants to be God. I want to be in control. I want to worry about things and in my anxiety somehow feel I can manipulate circumstances! That's preposterous! Or I think if I'm just with my children 24/7 that I can protect them from all accidents, sicknesses, diseases and harm. HA! Sometimes I go to a good friend or my husband for advice, which is good - we are supposed to - but I neglect first going to God and laying my burdens at His feet.

Do you try to substitute other things for God? Shopping. Eating. Entertainment. Exercise. Meditation. Thinking happy thoughts. Alcohol. Drugs. Education. Work. Family. Relationships.

None of those things will fill the God-shaped void in our lives. As one of my favorite Bible teachers describes it, only God can satisfy all my longings and fill all my hollow places with His lavish and unfailing love.

You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will
exalt you. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures
forever. Psalm 118:29




2 comments:

Linds said...

I think we all try to be God. And in control. It takes a lifetime to work out that this never works. We could all save ourselves from decades of anguish if we acted on the truths we believe in. I suppose it is because we are human and not divine that even though we understand, the ego inside wants to hold the reins. Sigh. Something I have to keep reminding myself about.

Everyday Christ said...

Isaiah 44:8(b) You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.

You have said it beautifully - there is no substitute for God.