This morning, I threw a temper tantrum. Why? Because Lee at the nail salon declined my attempt to use my gift card towards a 30 minute massage.

For weeks, I’ve sought out the best date for this massage, and today was the day. I have several hours free. My back hurts from work. It’s the warmest day of the year thus far – perfect day for a free massage.

I mean, can you suggest a better use of my time?

I donned a revealing black camisole; my designated massage shirt – and, to conceal my cleavage from the outside world, a tee shirt on top. I drove to the salon in high spirits, marched right in and declared to everyone that I had arrived for my massage.

But Lee, the petite and piercing female owner, made a crooked face. As gently as possible, she regretfully informed me: because I’ve already used half of my balance on a massage, I cannot use the other half on another massage. She cheerfully attempted to steer me towards receiving a spa pedicure.

I wasn’t having it.

I whined, I moaned. I said, “But my mom paid cash!” After several no’s, I stormed out, claiming I didn’t have enough time for a pedicure.

Smoke bellowed from my nostrils as I pressed the unlock button on my keychain and opened the car door and swung in. I turned the key into the ignition and swore to forever avoid that place. I rehearsed my complaint to my mom and vowed to give her the gift card to ensure never seeing Lee’s face again.

Now, let’s backtrack. Before I even got out of bed this morning, I had begun memorizing a portion of Psalm 19.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.”

I could sure use a soul refresh button right about now. As I drove to my next destination, (running errands for my mom at Walmart), I began to wonder of God’s law in this situation. Are there any Bible verses about dealing with the denial of a free massage?

“Bless those who persecute you….?”

Sure, we’ll go with that.

I started praying that God would bless Lee and her husband and her employees and her customers.

Soon enough, my car pulled into the Walmart parking lot. I saw the Panera Bread next door. I realized I was hungry. I went in, ordered a breakfast sandwich, and shared Jesus with the girl who took my order.

Sitting at a table against the window with my almond latte, God spoke to me.

If I had received that massage, the interaction with the cashier wouldn’t have happened. And if I had received that massage, I would have also disobeyed Him.

I forgot, but a while ago, God convicted me for wearing revealing outfits and getting touched by strangers. Don’t misunderstand me – getting a massage is not necessarily a sin. But examine the motives behind it. Yes, my back hurts. But God understands the intentions and details of my heart more thoroughly than I do. He knows my struggle with purity. He knows my desire for physical intimacy. He knows that in that dark room, my mind will wander.

In the denial of what I thought I wanted, He protected me.

This might not be how you had anticipated my revelation process. You may have thought I would say something like, “God spoke to me and told me I was being selfish and that I should be grateful for living in a country where I can afford even the car to drive to the nail salon.”

But…that’s not what He said. Because if He did, that would replace my selfishness with guilt.

God doesn’t speak in guilt tones. He speaks the language of love. And though I did eventually realize my ridiculousness and thank Him for His provision, He knew the main issue in my heart was not ungratefulness, but impurity.

After all, the Word commands us to be holy in all we do; as He is holy – surely, an impossible feat without His grace. But greater levels of intimacy require greater levels of obedience. And if God convicts you of something, it doesn’t matter what other people say. You’re accountable for what He’s shown you.

But thankfully, we don’t need to try harder – we need to try less. Jesus lives in us. Let Him do all the work.

And for the record, I will go back to the salon eventually to claim my free pedicure and apologize for my behavior. Let’s hope Lee lets me back.