What is on your wish list? Maybe you have matured from the time you were 10 and actually have less desire for a list of ‘things’ as an adult. Or maybe just having good health and keeping your two front teeth is not such a far-fetched wish as it once was in song. Why do you want what you want? My wife’s family does name exchanges for the adults, so we are not expected to buy something for everyone. This essentially means I need to put at least $50 worth of things on my online wish list, which gives me a fairly good idea of what I will be getting. Are you ever surprised (in a good way) by what you get for Christmas? Unexpected surprises are usually the best in my book. That is generally what I try to do for other adults on my list as well…find something they will like, but don’t expect. Is the same true from God? Would you like him to keep it to things on your wish list, or do you like it when he surprises you?
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
I had a few surprises come my way this past year. I bought a used car around 16 months ago that I affectionately termed the FrankenWagen, because it is a VW diesel Sportswagen made up of parts of several vehicles. Though it runs and drives fairly well, it still has some blemishes and is easy to see it was involved in an accident at one time. So, because of the dirty diesel recall, they are now offering to buy back the car for more than I paid for it, more than it is worth. This never happens, right? Is it fair? Legally, it is what they are required to do, but it doesn’t seem right to give you more than the car seems worth. Isn’t this the same with us? On the outside, because of our sin and brokenness we may not seem like we are worth that much to God, but He has already paid a great price for you through the blood of Jesus. Your value is much greater to him than it may first appear.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Unfortunately, it is not always just the good things that surprise us. Over the past few years, we also had 2 separate expenses totaling nearly $8k that never should have been, and all it would have taken were 2 simple ‘no’s, but that didn’t happen. Just a couple of expensive lessons, I suppose. I also have received a speeding ticket which I deserved, as I was speeding. Have I ever broken a traffic law and not received a ticket? Much more often, which isn’t fair either. Do the good things ever balance out the bad things in life? Likely not. As much as many would like to believe, there is not some celestial karma/balance sheet that makes everything turn out ok for everyone. This goes as well for the perception of most of the world, that if I do one more ‘good’ thing than ‘bad’ things, then I get to heaven because of my works. Life experience indicates the opposite, and nowhere is it written that it works that way, yet many believe in fantasy.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:44-45
So, as you try to fulfill the wish lists of those you love, think about giving them what they really need and not just what they want. If God gave us just what we asked for, would we be better off? Likely not in the long run. Making the selfish more selfish doesn’t usually benefit anyone. Take some time to consider what you want right now with what you really need. Are they one and the same? As you draw closer to God, he will draw closer to you and show you most directly what will benefit you most in life. It often is not what was first on our wish list, but it is what is best for us all in the long run. May you experience joy as you continue to open the greatest gift ever!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Strength and Courage in Christ,