Monday, April 16, 2012
Lectures to myself 2 - Jealousy tamples honor
Imagine for a moment a king in a far away country long ago. In olden times, kings had many offspring, sometimes numbering into the hundreds. It was a way of life.
Now imagine that there was a king with many children. He loved his children very much. He wanted his children to grow up and respect and honor others. He wanted his children to grow up and be able to handle any situation. He wanted them to become good adults.
So he decided to start giving them random gifts. He would think long and hard about each child, and he would choose a gift for each one. As he gave the gift, he would tell them that he wanted them to show him what they had accomplished with the gift when they were done. He wanted to be proud of their accomplishments and to see how much they'd grown.
To one he gave a horse. To another a puppy. To another money. Another received fabric. Yet another received seeds. Another a tree. Another a cart full of rocks. The gifts seemed to have no rhyme or reason, but they were all different.
Now. Imagine you are one of the children. You father the king has given you a gift. But instead of something big and grand, suppose you got something like.... a pencil and paper. The king has looked into your eyes, and with a loving face handed over a pencil and paper. Does your heart drop? Doesn't the king know how long you have been looking forward to getting your gift too? How much you've envied your sister's horse? How much you longed for a puppy of your own? But he has given you a pencil and paper.
The disappointment is almost too much to bear. Why? Doesn't he love me the same as my sister? Why does she get something wonderful like a horse and I get pencil and paper? What kind of gift is that? Am I not good enough for him? Is this how he shows his love to me???
So now what do you do with this "gift?" Do you throw it out, treating it like garbage? Do you leave it in the corner of your room? Do you write all your frustrations on it and then burn it? Maybe draw a picture? Rip it into a thousand small pieces?
You could use it to write a letter to someone who needs encouragement. You can give it to a child who can't afford it. You can use it to study. You can cherish it. You can use it to start a new business...
The possibilities on both sides are endless.
What will you do with your gift?
Will you keep it to yourself? Will you throw it away? Will you share it with others?
Will you be thankful for it?
Will you honor your father with it?
When you are finished, what will your father's reaction be? Will he be proud? Will he be honored? Or will he feel rejected and misunderstood? Will he feel sad? Will he feel angry?
In our lives we are given many gifts. We are born with things that no one else has. Some of us have talents. Some of us disabilities. Some of us are born into wealth. Some into hardship. There are infinite possibilities for infinite people.
Yet one thing is the same. It was all given to us by the King. Yes. The good was given. Even the "bad" was either given or allowed. Does this mean God is not good? Does this mean He doesn't love you?
God is wise. Life is not fair, but that is a world of human making. God redeems us. And gives us all gifts and situations.
And gives us the freedom to do something with what He has given us.
What are you doing with your gifts, Amber? Are you honoring God, or are you complaining because life isn't as great as you want it to be?
Are you throwing away what God has given you, or throwing it aside because it's not what you asked for, Amber?
Are you thankful for what you have received, or are you spitting in the face of the One who loves you more deeply than you can ever understand?
I find myself hanging my head in shame for a bit, keenly aware of how I have treated the love shown to me.
My jealousy belittled the gifts I was given and the love they were given in.
Honor was trampled.
My Father's heart was hurt.
But my Father forgives.
And I hope that He is smiling a little as I learn one more lesson, and pick up my broken gifts with a new feeling of awe and wonder, and a heart that asks, "What can I do with these that will make Him happy? What will make Him think, 'I'm glad I gave that to her?'"
Maybe one day God will point out the work of my heart with Fatherly pride as He did Jobs.