Big Gulp Love

by Cheri Cowell

“Go light on the ice” my husband says to me as I head into the convenience store to get our Big Gulp drink. Now, you must understand, this is in direct contrast to how he normally likes his cold drinks. When we are at home he wants lots of ice in his glass. But when he is paying for the soda, he wants to get as much soda as he can in that glass, thus the reminder to go light on the ice. When the ice cubes aren’t filling up the cup there is more room for soda.

We are just like that Big Gulp cup when it comes to our hearts, minds, and souls.

Imagine for a moment that all the things you love in life are different flavors of Kool-Aid. My list of things would include my husband, family, gardening, home, reading, church family, and even a few vices like sweets and shopping. In my imaginary example, each of these would be a different flavor of Kool-Aid made into ice cubes to fill my extra large drink cup. However, if I fill my cup with all of those brightly colored ice cubes, I don’t have much room for soda.

God is the ‘soda’ I want in my cup, but I know that I often spend too much time making ice cubes and filling my cup with everything else so there is little room for Him. Are you relating?

Our Scripture today speaks about loving God with all your heart, soul, and strength. All is the operative word. But it is difficult to love with “all” when “part” of us is loving other things, even worthy things like charity work, church service, or helping others. The truth is, we seek more and more of these ‘other’ things because they leave us unsatisfied.

Loving God is the only thing that will quench our thirst. He must be first in our hearts.

If you are worn out making ice cubes and filling your glass with all kinds of things, ask God to help you identify those brightly colored and attractive things that are filling your cup. He will.

Then the next time you stop at the Heavens Gate 24-7 for a Big Gulp to quench your thirst, consider going light on the ice. You may be surprised at how much more room there is for Soda, the real thirst quencher.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV).

cheri cowellAbout the author: Cheri Cowell’s book, 365 Devotions for Peace, is available through bookstores everywhere. To learn about Cheri’s other books visit

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Cheri’s book, 365 Devotionals for Peace , please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What are things that are filling your cup that have actually become a distraction to your relationship with God?

24 thoughts on “Big Gulp Love

  1. Busyness and obligations fill my life, so does stress and anxiety.

    I need to slow down, drink from my cup and savor all that He has to offer. That is where I will find rest and true fulfillment.

    Thank you for this reminder.


    1. Isn’t that funny? I am the same way now…puts a smile on my face and I’m sure someone at the 7-11 is wondering what I’m grinning about as I fill my soda cup. Can’t wait for someone to ask.


  2. Your devotion gives me a lot to think about. Thank for the reminder to put God first. To ask God to make known to me the things in my life that get in the way of my relationship with Him.


  3. Loved this article. I can really relate to having too many ice cubes in my cup to have much room left for the quenching love of our Abba. I hope the new year will bring less cubes and more God! Debbie Malone


  4. I find myself doing things that are worth while but I need to start my day off with time in God’s word and then do the things that I do. I get busy “doing” when I need to “be still”. The book sounds so good to dig deeper into having peace.


  5. Since I am an overachiever by nature, I can totally relate to this. Your article has me praying and asking God to show me where my excessive ice cubes are and to help me cut back so that I can make more room for Him. His soda taste better than watered down soda anyway. lol!


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