Free Hot Chocolate

On Monday mornings, Tim and I mix up 5 gallons of hot chocolate and wheel it over to Coeur d’Alene High School.  We stand  off to the side just down from the, main entrance, ready to hand out a steamy cup of cocoa to any interested passerby.

Our badges signify we are volunteers from a church, but other than that small identifier we go incognito.  We pass out hot chocolate to make connections, to start building relationships with students in our community.

It has been fun to watch students open up a bit more each week – they recognize us and are willing to give more than one word answers to questions.

The first couple weeks were prime people watching.  Most people didn’t know how to respond to the strangers lurking in the entryway or the wares they were offering.

Some students avoided eye contact completely.  Others eyed us openly with interest but kept walking.  Some students kept glancing our way with a mixture of desire and suspicion.  Even when we offered hot chocolate to people, emphasizing it was free, they would shuffle away or pretend they didn’t hear us.

After observing these reactions to free hot chocolate, it dawned on me that these are the same responses Jesus gets to His free gift of salvation.  What seems like a no-brainer decision to Him is often met with reluctance, disbelief, and suspicion.

Though Christ resides in me, I often respond to God’s gifts like an unbeliever.  I avoid God when He offers forgiveness.  I am suspicious of His grace.  I shuffle away from His unconditional love, wondering why He would offer that to me.

My actions and attitudes don’t always reflect what I truly believe about my God – that He loves me, that He desires to be in a relationship with me, that He won’t leave me.

I pray that God replaces my suspicion with trust, my fears with hope.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

{Hebrews 4:14-16, emphasis mine}

How do you approach God and His abundant good gifts?

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