Friday, August 2, 2013

Saga of A Deflated Marshmallow

Is anything too hard for the LORD?
                         Genesis 18:14
     Insight from the LORD sometimes comes from strange places. Several years ago I had the following encounter with a deflated marshmallow.

     Have you ever seen a deflated marshmallow? It is not a pretty sight—not even the miniature kind. I opened a bag of the small, soft, white, air-filled pieces of puff and popped a few into my mouth. When I looked down at my hand, something remained. At first I thought it was a piece of ragged paper that had somehow gotten into the plastic bag. Upon closer inspection I discovered that it was indeed a marshmallow without any puff; deflated like someone had stuck a pin in it.

     I began to think back trying to remember if I had ever seen a deflated marshmallow. No. Never, I decided. It looked almost like the unleavened bread used when taking communion at our church. I held it in my hand for quite some time thinking that there must be some significance to this airless  unattractive marshmallow.

     Then it struck me. That’s what the enemy wants to do to us—deflate our airbag so to speak. Have you ever looked around at Christians you know and thought to yourself, “Wow, they look happy, altogether, full of life.” Why not me? Maybe Satan has let the air out of your bag! 

     I left that piece of airless marshmallow lay on the counter for a while as I contemplated its significance. Now some may say this is way too much time to spend thinking about a marshmallow (especially a miniature one) but hold on and stay with me. 

     A couple of days after laying the marshmallow on the counter, I returned to look at it and think some more. When I reached down to pick it up, it felt different than when I first rested it on the counter. It had lost its softness. It was hard and dry and felt as if it might break if not treated with care. Not wanting to destroy it before I had completely understood what I was supposed to learn, I gently placed it back on the countertop. Then I began putting the pieces together in my mind.

     I was reminded of how Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Living Water, the Breath of Life and how He is the only one that gives our lives that effervescent fullness that makes life worth living and how when we allow Him full control in our lives we stay soft, pliable, and moldable like a puffy marshmallow.  But, the enemy prowls the land looking for those he can stick his pin in to let the air out of our bags.  We usually don’t see the pin coming, but it is sharp and effective and before we know it, if we aren’t prepared, we are deflated.

     Not only do we become deflated, but often, like that two days out of the bag marshmallow, we become dry and hard. We turn away from the things of God instead of running toward them. We sequester ourselves from fellowship with God’s people. We harden our hearts, and our spirits become dry and brittle.

     I wanted to see if I could rehydrate that dried marshmallow so I turned on the faucet just enough to drip water over the shriveled sugar. I’m sure you already know what happened. It turned into icky slimy goo! All the water did for the marshmallow was wash it away.

     Bingo! That is what the Living Water does for our deflated airbags—washes them clean, washes away the icky slimy goo left by the pin prick of the enemy and refills us with the breath of life.  Unlike the marshmallow that can never be refilled, revived, or remolded, we can be made alive when the living breath of the Holy God breathes on us.

     Wow I thought as I lifted my voice in prayer for those I knew whose airbags were presently deflated, and I asked the Father to allow His Holy Spirit to fill them and the Living Water to wash away all the icky slimy goo that bogged them down when the enemy set his snare for them. And I praised the Father that unlike that marshmallow there is hope for me and for you. Hallelujah! After all, is anything to hard for the LORD?

     I do have a piece of advice for anyone preparing hot chocolate and marshmallows. If you plop your mouth full of those tiny puffballs but find you have one remaining deflated marshmallow left on your hand, and if you begin contemplating what that could mean, let me save you some time and trouble. Throw it away! It probably just means that at some time you shut the drawer on the bag and that poor lonely marshmallow was the one that got in the way!

© JP 2013

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