Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What's That Stench?~

When my father’s health was declining, my mother found herself carrying the heavy load of caregiver along with her other daily responsibilities. Eventually, it became apparent to all in our family, that she was in need of a time of respite. My mother asked my sister and I to return home, care for our father, and give her some much needed time away. We agreed and hesitantly, she packed her bags and headed for the home of my father’s sister.

Each evening, my mother would call to check on my father and to see how we were doing without her. The first few phone calls confirmed that we had made the right decision in “sending” her away. Her voice still sounded tired and she mentioned she was sleeping a lot.

Several days into her trip, however, after some much needed rest and relaxation, her phone conversations became more lively, full of laughter and excitement. My aunt, her hostess, was going out of her way to make sure my mom was waited on hand and foot and my mom seemed to be thoroughly enjoying this arrangement.

Each day she would tell of the delicious food they ate,
the wonderful places they visited,
and the lavish attention my aunt was giving her.

One night after speaking with my mom and hearing all about her day, my dad asked to speak to his sister, the gracious hostess. What he told her made us all laugh.

“Don’t be spoiling her too much now. I’m the one who has to live with her, you know!”

Of course, he was teasing, but the thought behind the laugh opened my mind to a spiritual truth. Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

More than my aunt wanted to bless my mother, God longs to bless us. He delights in showering His children with blessings.

Yet, even something as beautiful as a heavenly blessing, when given to a heart that fails to recognize or appreciate it, can begin to have a very repulsive human stench.

We have all smelled it and it isn't pretty. No wonder we refer to someone in this condition as "spoiled".

Often, when God's blessings runneth over and we find our self in need of nought, we become untouched by the generosity of our Heavenly Father. Blessings pour into our life and we barely take notice, much less offer words of thanksgiving to the giver of all good gifts.

Other times, however, the problem is not that we don't notice the blessings. Quite the opposite. Oddly enough, when we have received so bountifully from the hand of God we can come to a place in our relationship with the Lord where we begin to expect such blessings. When they don’t rain down on us as we feel they should, we become bitter and disenchanted. We become spoiled by the selfless love of our gracious God and our actions and attitude attest to it!

Yes, God loves to lavish gifts upon His children, but like my father, He is very wise.

Our Heavenly Father understands what we don’t.

We may love to be spoiled with blessings but, - - -
 the rest of the world has to live with us!

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