You spend your childhood wanting. A bigger and better toy. Newer technology. The latest trend. And somewhere along the line, a shift takes place. You start thinking about giving instead of receiving. I’ll never forget the joy of our first Christmas. Barely making ends meet, my husband and I scraped together all the money we had to drive from New Jersey to Chicago. Little was left over for Christmas shopping. I had learned to knit and crochet that year so I handmade every one of our gifts. It was an afghan for Mom. Ties for Dad and all the guys. Knitted caps and scarves for the gals. I didn’t anticipate receiving because my mind was set on giving. I couldn’t wait to see the response to my surprise creations.
It hasn’t changed much since then. I love giving surprises. Maybe not the handmade variety but something unexpected. But because I’m clueless figuring out how to delight my kids these days, I now operate from a wish list. It seems strange to ask them to ask me what they want. But I guess even Jesus encouraged us to ASK. While adults usually shy away from asking, children have no problem with it.
Just like our three grandchildren who had no trouble asking. About mid-November, they presented us with decorated booklets of toys and gadgets. Things they longed for. Numbered and color-coded for priority choices, I was amazed at their creativity and hard work. Through picture catalogs and television infomercials, these three came up with things they couldn’t live without. And Nana, Mom, and Grandma began the search. Recovering from foot surgery prompted online shopping for me, along with free shipping and bonus coupons. I saved a lot of time and money as I let my fingers do the walking.
In the midst of my shopping frenzy, I realized my motivation: I want to give my kids want they want. It’s pretty normal for most of us. Even with the struggle to keep Christ in Christmas and stay within the budget, I long to give them what they want. It was then I remembered the words of Jesus.
If you, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in Heaven give the HOLY SPIRIT
to those who ASK him.
God doesn’t want us to feel guilty about asking. Or giving to our children. Or even getting gift ideas from their wish list. Let them ask. It’s okay to voice your desires. Hopefully, they’re good ones. If not, you can always say no. But this verse reminded me to ask for good spiritual gifts. Mainly, the Holy Spirit.
With our family facing a year of unknowns, we are asking for the Holy Spirit. There’s nothing we need more than Him. Provision and protection come from His indwelling Spirit. Reminders and revelations. Urgings. Convictions. Direction. Right thinking. Everything we need to prosper will be discovered and enabled through God’s Holy Spirit, who teaches us all things and reminds us of everything.
What’s on top of my wish list for 2012: Holy Spirit Invasion! I’m asking the Father to fill me and my family with His Spirit more than ever this year. If I love to give good gifts to my kids, how much more will my Father in Heaven give me the good gift of the Holy Spirit…when I ask.
So what’s on your wish list this year? Jesus longs to give you the good gift, the most vital gift ever…if you will just ask.