For as long as I can remember, my immediate family has exchanged Christmas wish lists. Every year around Thanksgiving my parents begin asking us about gift ideas for Christmas. And it seems that every year it gets harder and harder to come up with a wish list.
I’d like to think the reason is that, as I’ve grown older, I’ve become content to live with fewer things, but one peek at my shoe collection will dispel that noble thought. The truth is that most of the time, if there’s something I really want, like a new sweater or a book or some gizmo for the kitchen, I’ll go ahead and buy it myself. So when December rolls around, it’s tough to think of things I’d really like that I haven’t already bought for myself.
God has truly blessed me with the income to be able to buy things for myself, and I am extremely grateful for that. But I’ve been questioning lately how much I consciously depend on Him. How many times have I missed out on some great gift He had in store for me because I went out and bought something on my own?
As I’ve confessed many times on this blog, I struggle with a lack of patience. I’m realizing that buying myself gifts rather than waiting for my birthday or Christmas to receive gifts from others is a symptom of this impatience. Additionally, it signals a lack of trust on the part of the gift-giver to give me what I truly want. Now, I’m not saying that I should never buy myself anything–but there is a great temptation to buy what I want, when I want it, and not wait on God to provide it through some other means, or to provide something even better than what I had in mind.
“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!” (Matthew 7:9-11)
As much as I trust God now, I still see that I have far to go in fully trusting Him with every aspect of my life. I’m praying that I’ll resist the temptation to provide for myself and trust God more with His provision.