Everyone can remember something they regret. You know what I’m talking about because you are already trying to stop thinking about it. Too late!

That first “regret” I remember goes way back… in Stoudemiers, a hometown grocery store in DeLand, Florida. Mom had filled the shopping cart with all the usual items: bread, pasta, ground beef, milk, peas (Ugh!), peanut butter, Lima beans (yuck!)…you get the picture. Aisle 6 had all the baking goods on it. After loading the baking necessities for raising 5 kids, including powdered milk (Oops! that one slipped out), mom moved onto the next aisle.I quietly stayed on Aisle 6.

You see, while waiting “patiently” (hey, it’s my story) for mom to get exactly what she needed, I had noticed a bag of marshmallows on the bottom shelf that was slightly torn open…and a pile of marshmallows were lying beside the bag. Once mom’s cart rounded the end-cap, I knew what my mission was; To rescue these marshmallows…and check for any others that might be trying to escape their bag-o-captivity. Within seconds, I had six to seven full size marshmallows stuffed in my cheeks, and had passed the point of being able to play “Chubby Bunny."

Suddenly, a loud billowing voice came echoing across the store.
“Stop Kid! STOOOP!”; the Large butcher, fully equipped with a bloody apron and meat clever, began yelling from behind the meat counter.
Steven King could only have dreamed of having such images as a child.
Oh No! I was in trouble! I saw my life flash before my eyes (all 4-5 years of it). I knew a lifetime of working on a farm would be my “sentence” and my tricycle would be put in lock-up for at least 30 years. Life was over.

I wanted to cry, but I was too afraid!
I wanted to explain and say “I’M SORRY!”, but I couldn’t because of all the marshmallows stuffed in my face. “SWWWWYYY!” SWWWWY!”
“STOP KID!” -did I mention his apron was really bloody?!

(breathe deeeeep Chuck…. Ok, I can continue)

Then, a HUGE hand landed on my shoulder.
I turned around and realized it was the store owner, Mr. Stoudemier himself. A big smile on his face, Mr. Stoudemier said; “it’s ok Charlie! It’s ok.” Behind my back, I saw him sternly wave-off the butcher… still frothing at the mouth. I swallowed, tears rolling down my face (I was good!), again I said “I’m sooorrry!”, then quickly grabbed all the money I had in the world out of my front right pocket; approx. $0.28, and tried to give it to him. He politely refused.
…then, he sat down on the aisle floor of the store…
…and, he ate a marshmallow.

Within seconds, my mom came back around the end of the aisle to find me…and found both of us holding a marshmallow…me still with tears on my face, she said; “Are you ok???!”

Mr Stoudemier replied with a smile:
“Your son was wonderful helping me clean up a spill.”
…and he NEVER told on me. Israel had a way of going the wrong path over and over again. They somehow always seemed to find marshmallows (idols). But, as the Israelites cried out, God placed His huge hand over them…and rescued them… and gave them land. Though they did not deserve it, the Creator of the World still forgave them and rescued them… because they were HIS children.

We all have those things in our lives we regret… those things that have impacted our relationship with God! We all have picked up marshmallows we have no business eating. It’s done. YOU Can’t change it. Sometimes the best thing we can do is what Samuel called Israel to do when they Finally realized they wanted.

God’s presence back: fast before God…honestly say; “I’m sorry!”
Then TURN from it (…Don’t continue eating the marshmallows)….
Then SERVE Jesus wholeheartedly!!

When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the Lord."
And Samuel was leader* of Israel at Mizpah. (1 Samuel 7:6)

The same God of Israel then is the God we serve today.
The response they had from Him then is the same one He will give you and I  as well. Fast, pray…for an hour…a day – whatever He leads you to.
Confess and Repent. Turn back to Christ!
…and get ready for His Huge hand to rest on the shoulders of the child He loves so much.

Had enough marshmallows yet?

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