When the Fireworks Lost Their Sparkle

when the fireworks lost their sparkle by nicole bernard on devotional diva

[Guest post by Nicole Bernard: We’re welcoming back Nicole today to share her perspective on how our sins hurt God.]

The Fourth of July can be quite stressful…. at least that’s my experience as a mother to a rescue basset who suffers from anxiety issues.  This year, while my husband, Steve, and three-year-old son, Carter, sat outside enjoying the fireworks, I remained inside with Lucy as she paced, panted, trembled, and occasionally lost control of her bladder (and worse).  

As I sat crouched on my knees near our living room window, scrubbing away at the carpet, a burst of light flashed, catching my eye.  Turning my head, I was soon captivated by the nearness of the fireworks.

Sheepishly, I realized what was truly happening:  There I was on my hands and knees, literally scrubbing away precious time while my family was outside making wonderful memories.

Abandoning my task, I jumped to my feet, heading towards the door.  It was time to take my place in those memories… not remain in the background cleaning up after a neurotic hound dog.

Turns out, that was only the first lesson I learned that night.

I came through the door to see Steve and Carter, side-by-side in lawn chairs, watching the sky.  Smiling at the picture they made, I came up from behind, squeezing Carter’s shoulder.

My son, who’d always loved spending time with his mom, looked at me and said, “No, I don’t want you.  Go inside.”

Though I don’t take orders from a three-year-old, I can’t say his words didn’t slash…that my happiness didn’t dim; and that the lights in the sky didn’t suddenly lose their luster.  Here was my son; this precious little person whom I love so much…for whom I’d suffered, sacrificed, and rearranged my entire life for…telling me to get lost… It was my first real rejection from my child, and it cut deep.  

But don’t I do that to God, my Father?  The truth is that God created the earth and the heavens for his glory.  We, too, were created to reflect his glory, and to embrace with gratitude the gifts he’s placed all around us.  How much time have I spent failing to recognize what he’s done for me; the glory that is obvious all around me?

It’s so easy to fixate on the things we feel are lacking in our life; to become consumed by the few things that we want but don’t have… and somehow miss God’s glory and his very presence all around us.  

For years I didn’t understand that my sins hurt God.  I reasoned that I was only hurting myself.  But what if that’s not true?

If the underlying cause of all sin is a basic rejection of God and his ways, why would I not believe that it would cause him pain?  In Deuteronomy when God speaks of the Israelites he says:

“For I will bring them into the land I swore to give their ancestors – a land flowing with milk and honey.  There they will become prosperous, eat all the food they want, and become fat.  But they will begin to worship other gods; they will despise me and break my covenant.”

Deuteronomy 31:20 NLT

How had I believed this would not be hurtful?  With all God did to demonstrate his love for the Israelites, and all the miracles he performed while freeing them from slavery…  How could I ever believe that their blatant rejection didn’t sting?  

On the Fourth of July, I began to understand.

With Carter, reconciliation came quickly.  Less than an hour after telling me that he didn’t want me, he was cuddled in my arms falling asleep.  And though he’d hurt me, I was more than willing to embrace him.  The same is true of our Heavenly Father.  In whatever way we’ve rejected him, be it intentional, or unintentional, the remedy is simple.

He’s ready to forgive and restore.  Just tell him, repent, and rush into his ever-waiting arms.

And enjoy Him.

“Sing hymns to God;

all heaven, sing out;

clear the way for the coming of


Enjoy God,

cheer when you see him!”

-Psalm 68:4 MSG

nicole bernard on devotional divaNicole has spent the past 3 years as a stay-at-home mom to her young son (and two hound dogs); and considers this time away from work to be an incredible blessing. This season at home has given her the space to focus on growing in her relationship with God as well as the time to explore her faith in writing.  You can read about her journey at Faith Over Understanding.  (If you are a dog lover, you may also enjoy her dog blog: Two Suburban Hound Dogs).


  • Bhagwan

    Daniel I’ll be praying for you and your famliy. You’re still young in Christ, the enemy knows this and he will attack you with everything he has BUT God knows your desire to serve Him and please Him. He has not left you, nor will He. I know it’s hard right now. I am young in Christ too and I still sometimes struggle against the God help me right now, i can’t see your purpose! moments. There’s a scripture that has been my stronghold for a while now, I know my thoughts toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace not of evil, to give you that expected end. Jeremiah 29:11 There are times when I have to say it over and over again until it takes hold. This is part of hiding the word in your heart.Sickness is a cross we will bare (some for a short duration and others for a long duration) but the cross is our way to Christ. Stress and anxiety are not of God. This is not a put down to you but a reminder when we feel these emotions we must recognize the enemy for who and what he is. He’s a liar, he wants you to believe God wants you to fail. He’s a thief, he wants to steal your joy and faith in God and He’s a murderer, he wants your soul. The Word of God is a weapon (not a duty or a task), with it you can defend yourself against the tricks of the enemy who Christ calls, the Father of lies . Prayer, is our only means of communicating with God. Cry to Him, he is your Father and your prayers are as a sweet smelling savor to Him. Take the Word of God and speak it back to Him. God you said in your word, if I knock, the door shall be opened, if I seek i will Find. He wants you to use His Word so you must study it. It’s for your good and your strength!Faith, is like the wind, sometimes it will stir a drift of leaves and lift them so very high. Other times it calms and the leaves fall to the ground. That is the faith of a babe in Christ. Reading the Word of God daily, praying daily, talking to God daily and repeating back to Him and yourself those scriptures that speak peace and faith will help to bolster you.I know this because I’ve experienced it and there are times I experience it still. God loves you Daniel, at no point in time does he want you to crash and burn . He want’s you to trust Him and my dear brother, hard times are the only way for us to grow in faith. If the master suffers, are we greater than He? You’re worried for your famliy, you’re worried for your pride, you’re anxious and vacillating between hope in God and doubt in yourself.My precious brother, God never wants to see you fail never! He wants you to grow and to learn of Him and the only way you can do that is to go through trials. How can you know Him for a deliverer if you never face an insurmountable circumstance. How will you ever come to know Him as a healer if you’re never sick? God will heal you. God will provide for you and your famliy. Whether its through friends, famliy or yes, government assistance. The earth is the Lord’s and everything that’s in it. Who are we to question His means? Don’t let pride keep you from receiving the blessing God has for you.I’ll leave you with this scenario. Let’s say you go to your church or some organization for help and you’re waiting in line. Now imagine the souls you have access to standing in line. Spreading the Gospel doesn’t mean preaching to someone the mandates of the Kingdom, it simply means planting a seed (one plants, another waters and God gives the increase). You could drop a seed to a soul in need of saving right there in line simply by saying, God is good isn’t He? They may ask why is He good and we’re in line for help? You could say, because we’re alive to get help and help is available. That’s a seed. Leave God to send someone else to water. When we go through, we go through to give glory to God, for our spiritual growth and for others. Our life and how we approach it is the greatest testimony we have.Be encouraged my brother. Don’t give up and don’t let your pride prevent God from blessing you.You’re on my prayer list and I have faith that you will make it.Blessings,RebeccaWe’ll be posting soon, The missed blessing please stop by and read it. I think there may be something in it for you. God Bless