Being the mom of a thirteen year-old girl, I have learned the important lesson of letting my daughter pick out her own clothes. The battle that has the potential to wage is not worth any victory in establishing my daughter’s fashion. Though we do not presently share a similar taste in fashion, at one time in her life, my daughter cheerfully wore everything I picked out for her (though at age three, she may not have had a choice!).
On one of her birthdays, Abby, my daughter, needed a pair of shoes. Having been enlightened as to the type of shoe desired, I went to a variety of stores in search of just the right pair. I was finally successful and I took the risk and went ahead and bought the shoes. At this time in my life, I knew the frustration of giving Abby a gift and she, in return, not absolutely loving it. Thus, I concocted a plan. A few days after buying the shoes, I took Abby to the exact same store. I casually asked her to look at various shoes and to pick out some she wanted for her birthday. As she proceeded to look, I nonchalantly picked up another pair of the exact shoes I had already bought for her birthday. I showed Abby the shoes and pointed out their qualities as confidently as Vanna White. As I talked, Abby began to express a delight in and a desire for that exact pair of shoes. I carefully put them back in spite of her begging me to “buy them now.” I promised her diligently that she could have the prized shoes for her birthday, and we left the store having accomplished exactly what I wanted. Abby did indeed get to open her promised shoes, beautifully wrapped as a gift which I delighted in giving her.
I have often thought of that birthday and compared it to how our Father in heaven deals with us as His children. The Word of God tells us that God has given us a gift as well. Romans 6:23 tells us that the “free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” [ESV]. James 1:17 further tells us, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” [NASB]. God has made promises to us which He desires to fulfill.
Second Peter 1:4 says, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature . . .” [NASB]. A favorite truth of mine is 2 Corinthians 1:20, which says, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore, also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us” [NASB]. So often our Father in heaven has gifts for us which He wants us to have. His desire is for us to delight in His blessings and promises and to ask for what He already has for us. Ephesians 1:3 tells us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him” [NASB].
Just as I wanted Abby to ask for the shoes, which in reality were already hers, God wants us as well to ask for what is already ours in Christ. At times, it is just a matter of finding out what to ask for, which is done only through the study of God’s Word and intimate time spent with Him. God has given us all we need in Christ Jesus for life and godliness (Phil. 1:6), but we, at times, do not experience it because we do not realize it is ours to claim. It is His gift to us and He has presented it to us in the beautiful “package” of His Son as revealed through the divine Word of God. Unlike Abby, we do not have to beg our Father to give His gifts to us now because they are already ours in Christ! Our responsibility is to claim them and “wear” them just as we would a new pair of shoes given to us by one who loves us. Thus, let us “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” and confidently walk as a child who knows what is hers in Christ and “tears open” that gift and claims it to the delight of the Giver!
Kathi Holcomb, Pastor’s Wife/Bible Teacher
Calvary Baptist Church