So often in this life, I believe, we fail to experience the joy and gratitude from God’s gifts, because we expect them. We feel that we are entitled to life’s blessings because: we work hard, other people have them, it is just part of the experience of this life, we are good people, or just because we want them.
I have loved babies and children since I was a little child. I carried a doll with me everwhere, babysat, worked in the church nursery, volunteered for “Big Sisters”, and majored in education with an emphasis on early childhood. When other teenagers dreamed of sports cars or trucks…I dreamed of a Suburban or 12 passenger van, to shuttle my children around town. I truly believed that because of the way God made me, I was entitled to have a large family. With the birth of our first child, Hannah, I believed my dream was being realized. However, what followed were 6 years of disappointment, discouragement, and frustration. After my fourth miscarriage, I remember questioning why God would create me this way, and then deprive me of my dream. I honestly believed I deserved to have children. I looked around and saw the abuse and a lack of care, by some parents, which furthered my confusion and frustration with God. I had to adjust my perspective and realize I am not entitled to, nor deserving of anything. Everything I am given is a blessing of God’s grace. Through this experience, God taught me that every good gift is from Him. I learned not to expect, rather to wait upon the Lord, and give thanks to Him for everything.
As I look around this world I see lots of entitled people…and Christians are no different. The excitement of the blessing, is missed because it was expected. I see bitter people who did not get what they believe they deserved. I see unhappy people who spend their lives comparing their lot in life with others. I see people missing the joy of the present, as they are looking ahead to the next big event, accomplishment, or purchase. They fail to be in awe of what God has done and embody a spirit of gratitude. It is truly heart breaking.
I pray that our Heavenly Father will change our perspective this Holiday season from one of entitlement to one of unworthiness followed by thankfulness.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. James 1:17a
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4