Amazon must love me…I mean seriously look at this picture my father took of the front porch Sunday afternoon with nine boxes of items for a Christmas barrel that will be sent next week.
As I look at this picture two very different thoughts run through my head
“Thank you Lord for your blessings”
And “I don’t deserve this”
The second thought isn’t low self-esteem but an understanding that those boxes some very cool stuff I bought online.
- Two pounds of pumpkin spice coffee
- Three large containers of Gatorade powder
- Fifteen pounds of Jolly Ranchers (its for the kids…no seriously)
- Fifteen pounds of starlight mints (No it seriously is for the kids!)
- 2 1/2 pounds of Krispie Creme Coffee (sadly the donuts wont fit)
- One bag of Starbucks coffee
- A refurbished iPad
- Three containers of protein powder
- 2 pounds of Colombian coffee (are you noticing a theme?)
- A charger for my macbook
- Two Bibles
- And of course a new coffee maker along with lots of other goodies
The picture my dad sent me this morning of the items that will be shipped in my barrel (and more are coming) is honestly pretty overwhelming. Last night visions if coffee without the words “folgers” or “maxwell house” danced through my head (editors note: You may notice some folgers coffee containers in the picture, these are for my missionary co-workers who aren’t coffee snobs like me).
The picture creates not only excitement but in a strange way creates guilt in my heart. Part of me says “I have to earn all of these precious treasures.” In other words missionaries who are winning people to the Lord every week, spend four hours every afternoon discipling Believers, and are planning their third Church plant deserve pumpkin spice coffee. Of course I know that success isn’t based on outer fruit, but this subconscious thought creates a sinful response to God’s blessings.
God takes great pleasure in showing us grace. This usually isn’t something as massive as my Christmas barrel, but daily provision of strength or wisdom that we could never earn. These gracious blessings are meant to be reminders of the Gospel that lead to confession (I cannot earn Holiness), belief (God must rescue me), and worship.
The sad thing is we each have a longing to “earn things” so when God provides grace instead of remembering the cross (our greatest blessing) and submitting in worship we live out a testimony that says you have to earn Gods grace, which of course means it isn’t grace after all.
This doesn’t mean of course that I should sit on the couch all day watching television and eating donuts because I’m living “in grace”. Instead I stop trying to earn God’s daily blessings (you can’t do that anyways) and allow the smallest blessings to remind me of the cross. Eventually those daily moments of Grace will become a motivation as we serve God out of love instead of obligation.