Wednesday, December 7

God's Extravagance

Read Philippians 4:9-19

My children stomped up from the basement, discontent oozing from their slumped shouldered postures. "We're bored," they whined.

I was immediately filled with anger and hurt. My strong emotions about a common childhood complaint wasn't due entirely to over-active hormones. Let me tell you about our basement:

Last winter and spring, my husband I spent an exorbitant amount of time and quite a bit of money to turn our dark, icky, dank, moldy, cold basement into a warm, dry, pretty, clean, playroom paradise. We worked and worked, scrubbing and cleaning, building and refurbishing, to make a place they would enjoy playing. It was all for them.

Our basement playroom works out beautifully most of the time. All the kids' toys are there from games to forts, even a tv. What's not to love?

Well, they were bored with it. And I was mad. How could they say that about such an extravagant gift?

Immediately I saw a correlation between my children's discontent with our man-made blessing and my own discontent with God's extravagance in my own life.

This time of year naturally brings out discontent. The new and shiny are advertised everywhere. What I have seems rather dull and boring compared to what's new and beautiful.

Paul the apostle says, "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:18). His gifts are not only sufficient, they are ample and rich! How it must hurt God when we slather our attitudes with "this isn't good enough, I want more!"

(not actually my view, but close :)
I glanced out my window at a beautiful sunset the other evening. It lit the sky with oranges, pinks and purples. Usually I exclaim to my children, "Look! God painted the sky just for us!" Even the little things are gifts from Him. But that evening, the glory of God's artwork didn't impress me as much as the ugly power lines that ran from the road to my house and right through my view. I've never appreciated those power lines, although I whine like crazy if I don't have electricity.

My discontent blinded me to God's extravagance.

"For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received 

one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing 

and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift."

John 1:16

God's gifts are everywhere, He is hoping we take the time to see them.

And especially take the time to appreciate them.

"The art of deep seeing 

[of truly looking for God's extravagance] 

makes gratitude possible

And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible

Isn't joy the art of God?"


Linds and Manda said...

So true in my life as well. I haven't been able to crack open the Voskamp book yet but I'm needing to. Now that you mention how difficult it is to be content during this season (which is SO true) I'm thinking I should take it when we go to Saskatoon for the break.

Andee said...

If I would have read this yesterday, I'd have saved myself a lot of heartache. Thanks for writing it.