From Susan:This past Friday night, diving home at 5:30 PM, it was already dark in Atlanta rush-hour, when the long line of stopped traffic gave me just the time I needed to call my old friend Tina at the stop light and propose our two families do a spur of the moment meet for dinner at a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant that night. So we met at Main Moon, 5 O'Kelleys and 5 Hillis', including our sons Alex and Will who are now in college, best buddies since first grade! Will is married and he and his sweet wife Lara are expecting their first son! Will and I have had wonderful conversations over the years, and he looks down the table and says, "Mrs, Hillis, what I am really looking forward to about being a dad is being able to pass my heavenly Father's love for me on to my little son. When I think of how much God loves me as my Father, I always see how much I experienced this from the way my dad loved me. And I am really excited about being able to do the same--pass my heavenly Father's love on to my little son!" Will glances down the table and smiles at his dad, John, who is beaming.
God will give you everything you want?As we walked out of the restaurant, giving each other hugs and re-hugs, my hubby, thoughtfully, hands me the fortune-cookie I can't eat cause I am fasting, saying, "at least you will get a fortune"! Here is what I read on the little slip of paper after popping the cookie into crumbles:
God will give you everything you want!
NO JOKE! Here is the picture of it where I taped it to the inside of my coffee cup cabinet as a daily reminder!
Well, you can imagine what kind of a debate THAT kicked off in the Hillis car! My husband Brian says, "THAT is NOT true! I want a million dollars and God is not going to give me a million dollars!" Alex says, "I think maybe it IS true. That verse from Psalms says that if we trust in the Lord He will give us the desires of our heart. It means that when we walk closely with Him, we will want everything He wants, so it IS true! He will give us everything He wants!"
And I sat simmering on whether it is true.
What is everything you want for Christmas?And I decided that this IS a MARVELOUS Christimas fortuneduring this season when everyone asks "what do you want for Christmas?" C.S. Lewis comes to mind, with his penchant for reminding us in Surprised by Joy that everything we want is Jesus' and that all those other things we think we want are unsatisfying substitutes for the only One who will satisfy our souls.
SO, let me tell you about my "everything I want." I want and pray for more and more closeness with the One who satisfies, and for "a believer in the life of every orphan," so that each may come to know that only One who satisfies our deepest longings. I also want God to miraculously raise all those wrecked lives and broken hearts in the Philippines and Newtown and my town and your town. And for His people to participate wholeheartedly in that plan!
Let me finish with the "everything I want" for each of our children. As they mature and receive families of their own, we want them to be able to say what Will said--that they are EXCITED about passing on their heavenly Father's love for them, our children, on to their own children. For all of you with little kids, THIS is the kind of thing that awaits you! Not every day and not with every child. But it IS there and I say to you parents who are washing clothes and cooking and driving carpools and making crafts and training and disciplining and for some, feeling stretched by December's demands---your Father's love is flowing from you to your child. And even if they do not realize it now, someday many of them will. These daily acts of service and love through your hands ARE changing tbe world!! And I pray YOU get surprised one night when your son is getting ready to be a daddy and glances over at you across an ordinary table and says, "What I am really looking forward to about being a dad is being able to pass my heavenly Father's love for me on to my little son." ....AAMMAAZZIINGG!!!
Let me close with a prayer for "everything I want" for each of you:
- A Vision of God's long-range view of His glorious purpose for your life -- that life-long flow of our Father's love for us, on to our children, and then through them, on to theirs! (Ezekiel 37:1f. I will put my Spirit in you and those dry bones in that valley....every one of them....will live!)
- A Plan for implementing the vision; this plan is NOT primarily mastery of parenting principles but rather, living at the 'tipping point' of the "God is my Father and I am His beloved" life; (Ezekiel 43:11 after the vision of the future hope above comes the vision of the plan: "make known to them the plan")
- Caring for yourself,soul, emotions, body, spirit, as the Father's beloved child. Only in this way will you receive what they need from you, for them! (Ezek 44:3 Sons and daughters of the king sit in His presence in the inner room "to eat bread [of heaven] before the Lord!" Try it--you will like it!!
God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him! (J. Piper)Merry Christmas - and May God give you everything you want for Christmas! And then, may you pass it on! In your home, in your city, in your world!