Saturday, October 18, 2008

Grabbing up the Gift

I'm sure you've all taken food samples from Sam's Club before.

Lately, whenever I've gone by those little sample stands, my attention has been caught by the people waiting for the handouts. There are two kinds: adults and children. The adults almost all walk casually up, and wait expectantly just within reach.

The attendant will say robotically, "Would you like to try _____?"
And the adult says (as though he is doing the attendant a favor), "Sure."

The children, on the other hand, run up to the person with their hands out, and blurt out, "Can I have one?"

I've contemplated the two ways of receiving a gift. The one is much more dignified. But the other is what God wants from us. I've often heard Jacob faulted in the Old Testament for his grasping at the blessing that was promised to him by God. Interestingly, of the two, it is Esau who was faulted by God. Willing to sell his birthright for a full stomach, he found no place for repentance. Jacob wanted what God had. Rahab wanted what God had. Tamar wanted what God had. And all of those people considered the gift of God of more value than their family relationships, their pride, their security, their homes.

"Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3,4)

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

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