by Patricia Durgin
As a young wife and mother in 1982, I was new to Christianity. I mistakenly viewed God’s promises as obligations He agreed to deliver–like a genie–upon my request. Imagine my surprise to discover that’s not how He operates!
Driving to work that early December, I berated Him for not supplying extra funds for Christmas gifts. (I wouldn’t speak to Him like that now; He gave me grace then.) In previous years, He had blessed my husband and me financially before each Christmas, so one of us—OK, it was me—assumed that would be the norm every year.
But as the holidays drew nearer this year, nothing extra arrived. “The clock’s ticking. Christmas is in three weeks,” I reminded Him as I drove, mentally nudging that responsibility over to Him like an imaginary parcel.
Gently, kindly, He returned “the parcel” and replied, “Patricia, Christmas comes round the same time every year. You might plan your finances with that in mind.”
Our Father is so kind! Even when He speaks what we consider a hard truth, His tone is loving. That Christmas was tight, but we got through it. Since then, He’s supplied financially for our family many times, partly because we’re His children and partly because I learned my lesson that year and stopped assuming He’d carry our part of life’s load.
“This part,” He taught me, His arms spread wide, “is for you to carry…with my help.”
“Everything else,” He says with arms spread wider still, “is mine to carry…for your sake.”
Isn’t He wonderful?
At the beginning of that conversation on my way to work, I thought He needed to change, only to discover the one who should change was reflected in my mirror. Though an adult physically, I was still a teenager spiritually. I’d misinterpreted His promises.
This tendency is infectious from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, as we compare “ours” with “theirs.” Everywhere we look, commercials and ads suggest our lives would be better, happier, or more fulfilling if only we had their product.
To breathe this noxious poison for a full month is dangerous to our spiritual health, making it easy to become dissatisfied with the blessings God’s previously given us.
During what is supposed to be the holiest time of year, we frantically search (and hope for) gifts to make all our dreams come true.
God’s already given us that Gift, in Jesus Christ. He doesn’t promise to fulfill our dreams. He promises to fulfill His dreams for us if we dare to believe….in Him.
Have you accepted that Gift? If not, you can today. Join me in this prayer based upon Romans 10:9-10:
Lord, I admit I am a sinner. I need and want Your forgiveness. I accept Your death as the penalty for my sin and recognize that Your mercy and grace is a gift You offer to me because of Your great love, not based on anything I have done. Cleanse me and make me Your child. By faith I receive You into my heart as the Son of God and as Savior and Lord of my life. From now on, help me live for You, trusting you to be in control. In Your precious name, Amen
Praying you and yours begin this new year with joy and thanksgiving for Christ and Christ alone!
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: A respected Bible teacher and professional trainer, Patricia served Christ in leadership roles at work, church, and in her Chattanooga community before she and her husband accepted God’s call to become “nomads for Jesus.” Since 1999, she has served Christian writers and speakers as a marketing coach/trainer, showing them how to build/rebuild their platform to fit their message’s future needs, not simply this year’s pressing project.
Married to her high school sweetheart since 1976, they’re blessed with two daughters and two sons-in-law, all in full-time ministry, plus four delightful grandchildren. Patricia also writes monthly for Almost An Author, Write Life Workshops, and The Write Conversation, and serves at Christian conferences and retreats across the country. Learn more at: https://marketersonamission.com/
Join the conversation: How has your understanding of God increased over the years?
2 thoughts on “Christ and Christ Alone!”
I loved God’s gentle reminder as he returned your “parcel.” Great!