imageI was recently talking to a good friend about grocery shopping and she was telling me how they had a great price for pepperoni at one of the stores she was shopping at that day. However, she ended her conversation with the words “but pizza isn’t on the menu this week.”

I had to think about that for a few minutes.

I mean, we all shop differently. Some of us stock up on items when they are on sale in order to save money. Others of us stick to a firm menu plan and only buy what we need each week. Others might do all of their non-perishable shopping during one day of the month and then pick up their minimal perishable items on a weekly basis. I’d love to be able to say I fall into one of those categories.

But I’m pretty sure that I don’t. Yet.

Allow me to enlighten you.

Let’s say I need to shop for only eggs and milk. I arrive at my grocery store and pick up one of the tiny carts (no, not the ones your six year old would push through the store – the taller ones with the little basket areas). As I jet to the back of the store I pass that sale on pepperoni and a voice inside my head says “Hmmm…Jennifer, what if you want to make pizza in the next MONTH?! You MUST have the pepperoni.”

After this happens multiple times throughout my shopping trip I then proceed to the checkout. Mind you, my tiny cart is bursting over with more merchandise than it can hold but I manage to make it up to the belt and start tossing my items up there to be scanned and bagged. It is then that the woman so nicely gives me my total of “$329.67” (Ok, so that’s a slight exaggeration)

After I hand over my kidney and cry a bit because I only needed eggs and milk I then sit in my car and silently plead with God about my compulsiveness.

Yes. It is obvious I need divine intervention during my grocery shopping experiences.

I then share all of these thoughts with my friend and, while we both thought it was amusing, I was pretty serious.

The next day we, again, had a conversation about something important that I was running out of and needed to buy. Probably toilet paper or something of the sort…

Oh, alright – it was dark chocolate sprinkled in sea salt. Ya happy? I enjoy dark chocolate sprinkled in sea salt.

Amazon sells it in cases of 12!

Although I really don’t need to buy that many at once, and probably shouldn’t for sheer compulsive reasons, I was trying to persuade myself to flop over all that extra cash in the dead of winter when my husband’s construction business is slow. And never mind the fact that I have several other kinds of dark chocolate candy bars stashed away for moments of dire emergency.

I. wanted. sea salt.

My friend, again, decided to enter the conversation with “Well, if you bought that many you might actually get tired of them before they’re gone.”

“Friend!” I said in disbelief. “Just as I never tire of tea – I never tire of dark chocolate sprinkled in sea salt.”

“Ok,” she said. “I’m just trying to be a divine cash flow interventionist.

She had a point. I’d just confided in her the day before about how I need to trim down my spending when it comes to grocery shopping. Get control of my compulsions. This is precisely the type of intervention I needed.

I’m reminded of Jacob when he had to wrestle with God. I was holding on for dear life to make sure I got a blessing out of this encounter. Wrenched hip or not, I wasn’t letting go because I felt the sting of the reprimand. I chose to hear the voice of the world in her words rather than the voice of the Lord. But then I remembered why I’d confided in her in the first place…

Sometimes it takes the Spirit of God working in someone else to intervene and help us overcome our own flesh.

Isn’t that beautiful?

And the sad part is that our skeptical, you-can’t-interfere-in-my-life attitudes typically cause us to turn our backs on the advice of a friend with good intentions.

This gave me perspective into several very different things:

1) When we ask someone to interfere in our lives we must be willing to overcome what the enemy would like us to believe is an insult and remember that they have our best interests at heart.

2) Greed is a sin. It’s not just about me being compulsive and wanting to make sure my shelves are stocked – never running out of a thing. I was trying to hoard something. And if I was honest with myself, it had nothing to do with saving money. I just wanted a pantry full of dark chocolate sprinkled in sea salt that would be one less thing to worry about having to purchase on my many trips to the store.

3) You can eat pizza without pepperoni. Seriously!

I’m grateful for my friends who help keep me accountable and encourage, not only my walk with Christ, but my everyday living.

Even right down to pepperoni and sea salt sprinkled chocolate…