Looking back at another Christmas season, one thing that concerns me a bit is how much in the way of material gifts our grandkids received. Some of this is to be expected; the little munchkins received items from their parents, two sets of grandparents, a great grandparent, aunts and uncles, etc. Most of these loving relatives are blessed to be fairly affluent, and want to shower the kids with presents. It adds up quickly.
I know a grandparent’s job it to spoil, but I do try to reign in our spending. Yet it seems to eventually add up to a lot, in fact way too much. I try to instill into my grandchildren the fact that many children in America, and especially elsewhere in the world, have little to nothing in the way of gifts – much less the basics of life. But I’m afraid that teaching gets lost among the stacks of gifts, piles of torn wrapping paper, and toys that require scissors, screwdrivers, pocket knives, and lots of effort to extricate from their package.
My grandchildren are spoiled. They just are. Even before considering the excess of gifts. I truly pray that they will not grow up to be ungrateful spoiled brats. And I will do my part to that end!
But in fact, many of us are spoiled by the necessities we take for granted. Safe housing, clean water, electricity, heat, adequate and accessible food, and down the line. I know I am saying the obvious. But it’s also obvious that I take most of these things for granted.
Lord, I just want to thank You for providing me a job in order to take care of my family, and to pay for necessities. Thank You for the roof over my head. Thank You for all of the everyday blessings that I usually overlook. In Your Name, Amen.
But it goes beyond physical blessings. Way beyond…
We are unbelievably spoiled spiritually. First, Almighty God provides an offer of eternal life through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. Sin problem/Hell problem? Simply repent and accept His forgiveness.
And if all that God did in respect to us was provide the sacrifice on our behalf to ensure that we had access to Heaven…that would be a gift in itself beyond comprehension or calculation.
But of course, our Heavenly Father’s spoiling of us goes way beyond forgiving our sin and taking away our sin penalty. His blessings are more than the grains of sand on the beach. His protection and provision are daily and diverse. His love, grace, and mercy – especially when we stumble and fail – are incredible.
Our Abba Father loves to spoil His children. Of course we see it when we are blessed materially, or with good health, or with the inexpressible joy of grandchildren. But the spoiling is also manifested even when we cannot understand His will and purposes. Even when we would choose something different in our limited knowledge and understanding. Even perhaps in pain, suffering, struggles. One day we may look back and say, “Yes Lord, You were using this hurt in preparing me to be a blessing to others” or “You were protecting me from something I was sure was a blessing but turned out to be a curse.” Or simply, “You had my back all the way, even though I turned my back on you.”
I just know that my Lord has forgiven me much more than this:
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. [Mat 18 NASB]
Even if I had no material gifts to give to my grandchildren, I would still love them with an unquenchable love. I want to spoil them with love. So much that they anticipate it, and know that the love will be there. I would gladly die to save them. In this way, I desire to model the Father’s love for us.
May I be a blessing to others, passing on the indulging, extravagant love of Jesus. Happy 2017!