Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Giving God

Each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas my father’s rifle, shotgun and binoculars would mysteriously disappear. I wasn’t aware of this annual disappearance until one day when I asked to use my dad’s binoculars. I was told, “There not here just yet.”  I was a bit confused as to why they were no longer under our roof and like a typical kid I went back outside to play and promptly forgot about my request.

A couple of years later, I asked again and this time my mom gave me the full story. My father was a contractor. Every year during the winter season construction slowed down – way down. People in the construction trades had few jobs and even fewer paychecks when the weather got wet and cold. It was hard to make ends meet and buy Christmas presents for the kids. My dad found a solution. Each year he would take his three prized possessions to the local pawn shop and ask the same question, “What can you give me for these?” At that point the pawn shop owner would advance my dad a sum of money with a buy back date far enough into the coming spring when new jobs would once again appear and allow my dad buy his rifle, shotgun and binoculars out of hock.

Later on in life when I became a father, I came to appreciate what my father did for our family. I never missed a meal or went without clothes. Thinking we had lack never entered my mind because my father always found a way. In fact, I actually felt sorry for other kids who I am sure had fathers who never had to pawn anything to make ends meet and buy their kid’s Christmas gifts. My father never put us in a place where we had to focus on lack. With dad life was an on-going abundant party. He was still a kid at heart who never forgot his own Christmas mornings when deep into the Great Depression all the kids in his large family would get a single orange as their only gift. Some years there were no oranges. He never complained about those years of deep lack because he knew the sacrifice his father had to make to give those gifts to his children.

I learned a lot about God from watching how my father loved our family. There are times when the want of a child of God is actually a need in disguise – a need to know that God cares about everything and hears every prayer.  Jesus told us to not worry about our needs. This makes me wonder, “Did God promise to supply all our needs so we could be free to imagine like a child who is not afraid to dream.”

God loves us with an extravagant kind of love – a love the children of royalty come to experience when they finally begin to think and act like a child of the King who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He did say if we delight in Him, He would give us the desires of our hearts. 

Today, approach God as a child and let the joyful expectation of a child’s innocent imagination form your thoughts, prayers and expectations. Your Father delights in giving good things to His children.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17

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