First Peanut


by John C. Westervelt


     As a young teenager, I experienced a chemistry change, and suddenly I began to notice girls.  I liked what I saw.  Ten years later, I found a pretty girl who agreed to marry me.  That same chemistry encouraged Nelda and me to have a family.  Now sixty-five years after the arrival of this mysterious chemistry, it keeps hanging around and can be a source of temptation.

     A few years ago the Holy Spirit led me to a “First Peanut” theory to help control temptation.  I recalled my days as an officer on a naval destroyer during the Korean War.  The supply officer told me he finally received a shipment for the ship’s store that included some canned peanuts.

     I bought a can of peanuts and went to my quarters for a break before supper.  I decided to taste one peanut.  That led to another, and finally I ate the entire can.  Just like eating the first peanut, a first look can lead to trouble.

     TV commercials can be provocative for me.  When they are, I close my eyes, mute the sound, and visit with Jesus about Ariella.

     I picture in my mind a multitude of people following Jesus across Galilee from Capernaum to Nain.  The countryside is green from the winter rains, but the road approaching the city gate outside Nain is dusty from the trampling of the feet of people and animals.

     Coming out of Nain is a crowd carrying a coffin.  Jesus knows that the woman who is sobbing uncontrollably is Ariella, a widow and the mother of the dead boy.  As Jesus draws closer, He stops His dialogue with the multitude and focuses all of His attention on Ariella.  Walking up to her and looking into her tear-filled eyes, He says, “Do not weep.”

     Touching the coffin, Jesus says, “Young man, arise.”

Galen sits up and speaks to his mother.

     Ariella turns to Jesus with gratitude showing on her face and asks, “How can I ever thank you?”

     “Ariella, all that I ask is that you continue to love all My children in Nain as you have in the past, for as you love them, you are also loving Me.”

     By the time I open my eyes and restore the sound, the TV is back to the ball game.



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