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Girl Meets God

    by Melissa Mathews

Craving the Eternal
Date Posted: February 1, 2004

By heaven we understand a state of happiness infinite in degree, and endless in duration.
Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday, when I was riding in my car, I had this instant desire to see Portia Knowles. I don't know why, but I did. Portia is a wonderful girl who was in our high school youth group in Missouri. She was our first paid babysitter. She is the one who decorated my Christmas tree one year with handmade paper snow flakes. One fall as we were amping up for a fresh theme in youth ministry, Portia, me, and lots of other people, worked for hours to turn the church's basement gym into a bat cave. We have even camped in Colorado.

There's this quaint house on the outskirts of Joplin, Missouri that sells antiques and chocolate called Richardson's Candy House. When it's a beautiful fall day, I have this craving to go to Richardson's. When it's a dreary day, I have this craving to go to Richardson's. When it's a happy day, I have this craving to go to Richardson's Candy house. Life doesn't get much better than that.

Since moving to California, I've also developed this terrible affinity for Starbucks Coffee. When I get the craving, it can only be satisfied by a grande, breve, two-pump, white chocolate mocha. Sometimes a toffee nut latte will do the trick. If the manager knows your order by memory, you must have a problem.

I've tried to analyze this whole craving thing: Am I addicted to Portia Knowles, Richardson's Toffee, or Starbucks coffee? I don't think so.

When I spent time with Portia, we had fun, but it wasn't some magical, wonderful moment. When Scott used to take me on long country drives to visit Richardson's Candy House, I didn't always enjoy it. Frankly, I would often groan and fidget because it felt like we were wasting time. But looking back, I long for those times again. I long for those easy and carefree days. I crave the comfort of "the good-ole days." It's really solace and ease that I crave, and it doesn't get much more comfortable than a warm cup of coffee in an arm chair at Starbucks while your husband is home with the kids.

I read a passage in Romans this week that spoke to me in a way that I didn't even realize I needed to be spoken to:

"We know that everything God made has been waiting until now in pain like a woman ready to give birth to a child. Not only the world, but we also have been waiting with pain inside us. We have the Spirit as the first part of God's promise. So we are waiting for God to finish making us his own children. I mean we are waiting for our bodies to be made free." (Romans 8:22-23, Easy-to-Read Version)

I can crave the comfort of the past all I want, but complete and lasting comfort won't be mine until Jesus returns. I will have moments of ease, but the struggle of life will remain a struggle until all things are made new at Christ's return. I just need to hold on long enough to hear that voice in heaven say: "Now God's home is with people…God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. All the old ways are gone." (Revelation 21:3-4)

It sounds like comfort worth waiting for.

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Biography Information:
I'm a preacher's kid, pastor's wife, and southern belle who married a Southern California boy. Can you say 'culture clash?' Scott and I have four boys - Max, Mark, Jackson, and Grant who keep us busy with homework and sports.

Scott and I have been married 22 years and currently live in Northern California where we are beginning year five as church planters. I also teach 12th grade English and love it.

I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime at melissa.g.mathews@gmail.com
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