Vending Machine

Every time we go to my daughter’s gymnastics practice, my 3-year-old son asks about getting candy from the vending machine in the parents’ viewing area.

The first few times my sister tagged along to watch, and being a good aunt who carries cash, she got my kiddos some gummy worms and a Gatorade.

However, I’m a millennial and hate to carry cash or change, so it has been a point of contention when I tell my kids I don’t have money for the vending machine. But recently I had a great excuse.

I told my kids, “Today, don’t worry about the vending machine—though I know it has yummy candy and thirst-quenching drinks—because there’s a surprise after we get home from gymnastics.”

My kids took the bait and waited, obviously thrilled for what was on the other side of gymnastics practice: a Barbie cake my wife’s friend made that was better than any vending machine candy.

Are you in a season where you enjoy something—maybe a group of friends, certain financial lifestyle, job, routine or schedule—but believe God is challenging you or calling you to something new?

Or maybe God isn’t necessarily the one spearheading the change, but another person’s choice or unfortunate circumstance is beyond your control?

It’s tough when you’re currently comfortable and change is packaged with so much uncertainty.

Bible teacher and author Jen Wilkin writes, “I tell myself that my love of routine and my aversion to change are a longing for the God who does not change, but if I am honest, they are just plain idolatry. In truth, I am telling temporary, changing things, ‘I need you to be God. Please just stay the same.’”

There’s a danger in getting so attached to something that we trust in it more than God.

I think the disguised blessing of change is that it exposes how close we are to God in comparison to what is changing.

If we’re willing to wait patiently and fix our eyes on God while change is swirling all around us, I believe He has a blessing on the other side.

God didn’t cause Joseph’s brothers to kidnap him and send him off to Egypt, but He used it.

In Genesis 45:5 Joseph says to his brothers, “‘Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.’”

The brothers sold Joseph, but God sent him.

Though the enemy is working, God isn’t sleeping. For every curse of the enemy, God can supersede it with a blessing.

God has the final say over the changes taking place in your life.

I know it can be hard to wait for God. Joseph waited for more than a decade to see his dreams fulfilled.

If you have ever run on a treadmill for a set amount of time, you know it can be excruciating to watch the seconds count down on the timer. But if you put a towel over the timer and think about something else, it isn’t as bad.

If God is calling you to a new season or one of uncertainty, put a towel over the timer and focus on what you can be faithful with.

James 5:11 says, “We count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.”

Do you believe the Lord is faithful and can bring about something great?

Will you walk by faith in the Father’s faithfulness?

If you wait, maybe you’ll get a cake.

Tony Nochim is a staff writer for The Southeast Outlook.