Thursday, January 14, 2010

My extravagant, lavish, ‘excessive’ God!

Extravagant! What picture does that word conjure up in your mind? Excessive? Too much? Over the top? Wasteful perhaps? How about Godly? My no frills, conservative, Mennonite upbringing taught me to scrimp, save, reuse, and never waste. Don’t spend money on what is not practical and useful. These attributes were presented as Godly. Thriftiness is next to Godliness, right?

Last month I had the opportunity to brush up on my childhood ice skating skills. Thankfully I didn’t break any bones, the ice, or my brother’s camera. He was taking pictures of the ice. The bay had just frozen over and there were thousands of fragile frost fragments that were so small they couldn’t be seen without a mega-magnifier lens. My brother was on his face on the ice taking pictures but I didn’t really appreciate what he was doing, until I saw the pictures blown up on the computer screen. WOW! How extravagant! Lavish!

These microscopic clusters were too fragile to touch but they were more intricate and dazzling than any king’s crown or queen’s tiara. It seemed like a waste to have thousands of these stunningly beautiful crystals flung across the ice on the bay where no one saw them. Is that Godly? Absolutely!

He is lavish and extravagant, showering us with blessings we don’t deserve or appreciate, pouring his love out on those who ignore him, use him, hate him or deny that he even exists. “God demonstrates his own (lavish)love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). How wasteful! How not-thrifty. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Tim 6:17). Did you get that? He richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment! Lavishly generous, extravagantly excessive, that is my God! I think I’ll go enjoy everything he has provided, and while I am at it I think I’ll choose to be extravagant, lavish, Godly, towards others today!

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