I had a discussion this week with a friend who was discussing how she felt being showered by gifts with the upcoming birth of her daughter. “I feel bad,” she said. “Some of these people don’t even know me, and they are giving me really expensive gifts. Some are willing to let my baby stay in their offices while I work. I feel BAD. She is my responsibility; not theirs.”
My friend is a college student; about 2 years from receiving her degree. Upon discovering she was pregnant chose to keep her baby, and made the choice to raise her – in spite of future hardships. She works in our school. Many of us were inspired by her strength and this desire to be faithful.
As I watched people rise up to meet her needs, I was reminded of how/why God designed the Church. For us. Of Us. To be the very literal hands and feet of Christ to each other; for each other; meeting each other in our deep needs; in areas that we cannot meet on our own. He sees. He knows. He instills desires in the hearts of others. He provides. He blesses.
I reminded my friend of this truth. To feel bad, rather than blessed, is to diminish the gift and the giver. God has just extended a hand to you – and you say, “I can’t. I feel bad. You shouldn’t be this nice.” Well, perhaps He shouldn’t – but He DOES because that is EXACTLY WHO HE IS. The Lord is GRACIOUS; slow to anger and ABOUNDING IN LOVE. We can’t even wrap our minds around what it means to ABOUND in LOVE…
Grace is unmerited, undeserved favor. We don’t “deserve” reconciliation, forgiveness, restoration, good gifts. Our works, however many or few, don’t determine that grace that naturally flows from God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. His grace spills out of Him, into us.
To feel bad for a gift intended to be a blessing is like slapping God in the face. I asked her if she knew that it was God offering this gift, would she feel bad and reject it? She said, “No.” I exhorted her to ask God to give her the ability to view these acts of kindness as blessings, and to help her let go of the need to feel “deserving” or “worthy” – but to feel blessed; showered by grace.
May you be blessed today, my friends.