Eat the Broccoli

Remember when you were a kid and you hated what your mom served for dinner, and she’d say something like this: “I know you hate broccoli, but there are starving children in Africa who would love this meal.”?

I hated that speech.

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I know, Mom was right. But you know what else? I hated broccoli (still do – there’s not enough melted cheese in the world to make that veggie palatable*). I literally gagged it down. I would have gladly given every serving of broccoli I had to the starving children of Africa. But that wasn’t an option.

I don’t make my kids eat broccoli, but I do find myself saying things like that.  And not about food, but – worse – about life: “Sure, things are tough right now. But it could be worse: You could be in the path of a hurricane. Or have terminal cancer. You really shouldn’t complain.”

It is a terrible thing to do. When we are struggling, we need to deal with the struggle. We need to look at that nasty broccoli sitting on our plate and recognize we have to eat it. Mom’s not letting us up until we do. We can cry and whine and complain and fake gag, but when we’re done, the broccoli will still be sitting there. Getting even more slimy and bland. Might as well eat it while it’s hot so it’ll slide down faster.

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In life, sometimes things happen we just don’t like. Tough stuff. Pretending it’s not tough doesn’t make it easier. Recognizing other people have it worse doesn’t help either. Our tough stuff is still there, waiting to be dealt with.

So we need to deal with the “broccoli” in our lives. We need to cry out to God about these struggles. He’ll get you through whatever difficulty you are facing. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. His purposes for us are great.

We don’t get a “pass” on trials. But we do have a gracious heavenly Father who will guide us through every step, making us stronger and more like Him in the process.

*I apologize to broccoli-lovers. I’m sure it’s a wonderful vegetable with great qualities and maybe you even have a recipe that is so good I can barely taste the broccoli…but I still hate it, and now that I’m an adult, I can refuse it any time I want. So no recipes, please! If you feel the need to send something, the name of a good counselor – one who deals in childhood vegetable trauma – would be most beneficial 😉

3 Comments

  1. Renee Wiles
    Sep 7, 2017

    Lol, I hate broccoli too!

  2. Keilah
    Sep 7, 2017

    Haha, this post is humorous as well as helpful, thanks Krista!

  3. Lauren
    Sep 8, 2017

    I totally agree with what you said about hating the phrase others have it worse. I often find myself wanting to be sad and have my pity party and the phrase tries to invalidates my pain. Even when I am in so much emotional pain it is good to know that we have a God who will never leave us. And loves us despite how much we mess up.

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