I am not sure who has more trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve – me or my three girls. After resisting the temptation to go ahead and give them all of their gifts early, I lay in bed imagining how delighted they are going to be the next morning.
And when my daughters get up, they do not disappoint. Though they may start out sitting in sleepy-eyed wonder, it does not take them long to wipe the sleep from their eyes and dig in. Tearing through wrapping paper. Turning stockings upside down to make sure they get out every single teeny-tiny thing. Scouring the ground for anything they might have missed. Those girls don’t have an ounce of trouble receiving. And my husband and I certainly love giving them gifts.
I cannot help but pause and think of my Heavenly Father. One who also loves to give gifts to His children.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
How it warms my heart to think of Him as excited about giving to me as I am about giving to my girls. I forget too quickly that I am His daughter. I forget the tender nature of His love.
But how am I at receiving from my Father? Am I anything like my girls? Do I wait with anticipation, knowing that the Father is longing to be good to me? Do I make sure I don’t miss a single bit of all that He desires to pour out into my life?
Honestly, I stink at the whole receiving thing.
“No thank You,” I politely say. “I don’t deserve Your goodness today. I’ve been a super grouch with my kids, I just ate four brownies, and I am struggling with some major jealousy. So, You just pass along that gift to someone more deserving.” Sounds logical, right?
But what if my girls got up on Christmas morning and refused to accept any of my gifts? What if one of my girls said, “No thanks, Mommy. I don’t deserve these beautiful things. I was mean to my sister yesterday, I didn’t eat all of my broccoli last night, and I can’t keep my room clean for the life of me. So, you just give all of those carefully chosen gifts to someone else.”
My heart would be broken! I don’t expect my daughters to earn their gifts. I bless them because I love them, not because they have been perfect little angels all year.
How we must break the Father’s heart when we refuse to accept His precious gifts, when we turn down His love. How quickly we can forget we are His daughters. Daughters He delights in blessing. May we ever approach Him with thankful and humble hearts, but may we also find joy in the knowledge that our Daddy loves to be good to us. Even more than we love to be good to our own kids.