In this weekend of giving thanks, Amy and I have had the chance to reflect together about how truly fortunate we are. We have enjoyed educational opportunities, career advancement, a beautiful home, and a fulfilling marriage. And we have been blessed with a wonderful, happy baby.
We prayed to God for that baby, that God would grant us a child and that most of all she would know we love her and be free to live a happy childhood. And so far, God has not only answered that prayer but answered it in abundance.
A lot of people have given us a lot of really nice gifts for Jada. It is especially rewarding to be able to open a gift with the gift-giver there, and to see the joy they get when they see that they have given a good gift. I used to feel bad when people were generous to us, because I felt we didn’t deserve it and such lavishness seemed so unnecessary. I no longer feel bad. We don’t deserve such nice gifts, and such lavishness isn’t really necessary, but I don’t feel bad because I know that when people are generous it brings them joy, and far be it from me to taint that joy by doing anything but receiving that generosity with gratitude and wonder.
And so I believe it is with God. We have not tricked or persuaded Him into being generous with us, nor have we merited such favor. But we need not feel bad. Rather, may we joyfully receive His lavishness, for in doing so we enter into His joy, the joy of One who delights in giving good gifts and who delights when their recipients delight most not in the gifts themselves but the Giver of them.
And so Amy and I joke that when it came to Jada, God couldn’t help but have a smile on His face when He made the connection between our longing for a child and her need for parents. Except that I don’t think it was a joke to God. I think He really did grin from ear to ear, or perhaps even laugh out loud, such pleasure did such a pairing bring to His heart. And every day Amy and I get to be Jada’s parents here on earth, I pray we’ll know that pleasure and join in it.