I like answers to questions, fruit on trees, and solutions to problems. I don't mind analysis as long as it does not lead to paralysis. This easily carries over to my faith walk. When I pray, I am hoping to see God answer my prayers. When I seek, I expect to find. Today, we shall address the dilemma of a Scrooge spirit at Christmastime.
Before you dismiss me as a ridiculous optimist, read these verses from Matthew 7. 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 he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks 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, 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!
This is a pep talk from Jesus, encouraging us to ask God for help and for things that we need. He is also modeling how we can treat others. As we Christmas shop for our family members, we first consider what they
are asking for, what that person wants. Sometimes the items on their
minds and on their lists are not good for them or not available. But
often, we give thoughtful gifts as a way to bless that person. We (usually) joyfully give. When Jesus was explaining how the Father perceives our needs and our requests, I thought of my own imperfect perception. Of course I have given gifts in a less than cheerful way, but I strive to get my heart right before I give. Even if the gift was purchased in a begrudging way, I pray for joy before I deliver it to its recipient. Before you dismiss me as a ridiculous idealist, read this concluding verse - Matthew 7:12. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I know that my Heavenly Father gives generously to those who ask. I know that my Heavenly Father even gave up his only Son for me. My relationship and provision requests are easy for Him. I know that I want to bless my children, family and friends at Christmas. I want to give and receive cheerfully. I want to have generous feelings for them as they have them for me.