Stingy or Extravagant? You Decide
Our God is eternally extravagant.
Our God is eternally GOOD.
Our God walks on water.
Our God puts breath in the lungs of little tiny babies.
Our God gives us riotous color in summer sunsets, spectacular glory in autumn leaves, resounding majesty in threatening thunderstorms, white-out horror in winter storms.
Our God provides tables richly laden with rollicking RED cranberry sauce and the pleasing aroma of newly brewing coffee. He blesses our naked toes with the feel of freshly laundered sheets, and gives our ears the ability to hear the sound of baby belly chuckles.
He gives us hearts that rejoice to hear “I love you, too” and he blesses our eyes with the ability to see dandelions clutched in tiny chubby fists. As if that isn’t enough, he fills the nooks and crannies of our taste buds with the ability to experience chocolate, and then, he EVEN gives us chocolate MILK. He lavishes us with roly-poly puppies, playful puddy-tats, and lions that declare their majesty across vast expanses of gently swaying grasses.
In His great sensitivity to the deepest desires of our hearts, in the stillness of the night he blesses us with suckling babies and unexpected tender kisses from the one who helped create those tiny, squalling bundles of bubbly blessedness.
When we’re lonely or alone or newly settling into a brand-new world, he provides us with brand-new strangers who love Jesus to lighten and brighten our brand-new homes. And he graciously gifts us with the moon.
He refreshes our spirits with the innocent trust of little children. And he pours out his mercy by providing us with bacon-covered doughnuts, curly fries, repetitious daisies, ipads and rainbows, steamy hot baths and mocha-flavored ice cream, pretzels shaped like little men and merry-go-rounds that twirl and whirl and send little girls into dreamland with stars in their eyes. In his creative glory, he gives us twins. Sometimes he even gives us slate- blue eyes. And every once in a very great while, he gives us twins with slate-blue eyes. Oh the glory of His infinite creativity!
His tenderness shines in answered prayer and his wisdom is displayed in all the prayers that seem to go unanswered. Sometimes, in His extravagant goodness, He blesses us with tragedy. But because he is unending goodness, in the midst of the horror of our losses, he ushers us, heart and soul, into the special secret places of His heart reserved especially for those who grieve.
He provides birthday cards. (And here you thought it was Hallmark! Well, you were wrong.) And birthdays. And people we love to whom we can send those cards. (By the way, my Mama turns 96 today.)
Kilts and Scottish accents. Thumbs. Opposable thumbs at that. Amazon. Amazon Prime. Dishwashers. G. K. Chesterton. C. S. Lewis.
Sayers. Especially Sayers. A woman with a vision and an ability to write.
Poetry that sends our spirits to magical, mystical lands. Story that coerces us, heart and soul, to bow low at the pawed-feet of the great I AM. Prayer that places us in humble submission to the majestic glory of The Christ, seated at the right hand of the Throne of God above.
Music. Have you ever considered what this world would be without music? Oh my word. God graciously has gifted this world, MY world, with sounds that charm and magnify and exude His glory. Handel hypnotism. Bach beauty. Pachelbel praise. And Louis Armstrong.
Cathedral spires. The Psalms. The CROSS. The Christ. The Crucifixion. ONE empty tomb. Faithful saints. History. HIS story. Eternity. Eternity spent worshiping the splendor of the King.
Goodness. God’s goodness. Unlike any goodness here on this earth, but every once in a while, if we’re really quiet and if we open our eyes, tip our heads just the right way and don’t blink, we get to see hints…glimpses…of His goodness in sacrifices made, love extended, grace fulfilled, tables bursting with rich, delicious, colorific scented goodness.
Joy. What other creature do you know that really *gets* joy? The heathen desire it but it eludes them most of the time. Doggy tails display it in wild abandon when their master comes home after an extended time away. But we, we humans, we understand and we seek it each and every day of our lives. When we find it, we hoard it. We gather it in by the armful, stuff it into our pockets with glee and seek with both hands to keep it from ever slipping carelessly away.
The cacophonous glory of the endless variety of baby names. The splendor of aging saints as they prepare to meet their God. The beauty of listening to someone older recount the goodness of the Lord in days gone by.
And as if all of the above isn’t enough, our extravagant God gives us leisure. Farmland. Snuggly 4-year-olds. Twenty-something sons who still say, “I love you, Mom” at the end of busy days.
His grandeur provides us with not just one measly mountain but multitudinous massive monoliths that testify to His infinitude. His delight at the simple things gives us pumpkin pie. He displays his order in the skies as Canada geese fly noisily southward. squawking his creative glory all the way. And still, and still…he gives us colored chalk, Walker shortbread cookies, statued staring king-like stags, elephant trunks and Christmas.
What kind of a God gives us armadillos, giraffes, friendly neighbors, matchless memories, mother-love, father-leading and skin-on-skin intimacy?
A God of justice.
A God of love.
A God of mercy, truth, goodness and grace.
But most of all…
And because He is THE God of goodness and of grace, we can trust Him to be true to one of the greatest gifts of all, His Word, when He says in it,
“If my people who are called by MY name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”
Is our God extravagant or stingy?
You decide. And once you do, do not delay to act accordingly. And to pray.