True Story. It is February in Arkansas and nearly everything is in bloom. Daffodils have sprung, trees are covered in pink flowers, and the Bradford Pears have blossomed and are proudly emitting their unique stench.
Seriously, it astounds me every time I pass one that they can be so beautiful yet smell so bad.
Yesterday, we loaded up our family for a quick trip 30min. north to visit the kids’ 80 year old Great-Grannie. She had so many Daffodils in her back yard. Before it was time to go, she took me to a cabinet in her kitchen and asked me to pick out a vase because she wanted to clip those daffodils with the kids and put together an arrangement for me to take home. After she had already shown us so much generosity earlier in our visit, I quickly decided that the best response to her request was to pick the least fussy vase. So I announced my decision to her by pointing to the smallest one of the bunch and saying, “How about that one!” She looked at me with her mouth wide open and in a tone that was nearly disgusted she said, “That one???” I laughed and said, “Sure!” She continued to stare at me until I finally said, “Okay then, which one would you have picked for me?” And without hesitation she grabbed the one vase the clearly stood out as the best among the others. It was the only milk glass vase on the shelf and the only one that was ornately sculpted. Without giving me a chance to question her pick, she gathered the kiddos and out they went to begin stuffing it full of Daffodils. And guess what happened. There were about six that could not fit in with the rest of the arrangement to which she sweetly placed in my first choice vase.
On our way home, as I took in the sweet smell of all of the flowers, I began to see God’s sweet love and His abundant generosity to me, to us, as I thought back over what had happened between me and Grannie. Just like she had already generously given to us, God has already given us the free gifts of salvation, forgiveness, redemption and eternal life with Him through the life, death, and resurrection of His son, Jesus. Yet His gifts don’t stop there just like how Grannie’s generosity didn’t end. Even when we aren’t deserving of what He has already made available to us he continues to give to us! He says, “Ask and it will be given to you!”* Just like it made Grannie’s day to give me the most beautiful vase out of her collection (and by far the most beautiful in my collection now), He too, as our Heavenly Father, knows how to give good gifts.
I don’t know if you’ve been asking God for anything lately. I know that I sure have and I know that just like how in the case of needing a vase I picked the smallest, simplest one that’s how I’ve been approaching the throne of God. That’s how I’ve been making my requests known to Him. But now I see Grannie’s face when I told her which one I had picked and I imagine my Heavenly Father, the Giver of Life, saying, “What?! No my daughter, this is what I would love to give you.” And I am overwhelmed at how he gives exceedingly and abundantly more than we could think or ask for.*
*Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asked for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil [sinful; human] know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
*2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”