Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
There’s lots of talk about getting a blessing these days. It’s all about getting God’s goodies in this life. Get the car. Get the grades. Get the diploma. Get the job. Get the partner. Get the house. Get the kids. Get the grandkids.
And the more we get, the more we want. The more we receive, the more we expect. We’re not like the gas tank in our cars and trucks. You can fill them up only so much and then that’s it. There’s no more room. No more space. The fuel just spills out.
To put it bluntly, we just can’t be satisfied. Enough is never enough. We might get a lot, but we crave more and more. Our ability to receive more and more has no limit.
We’re just like Dudley on his birthday in the first Harry Potter movie. He receives 36 presents for this birthday, but that’s not good enough because last year he got 37.
It doesn’t matter that this year’s presents are bigger. He throws a fit and starts yelling. So, what’s the solution? Take him out to buy two more presents so the number is more than last year.
We even see this in churches and on television. The promise is that if we do something, if we give something, then we’ll get a blessing. Guaranteed. They say it’s a promise from God, so it must be available right now. Right? After all, it’s on a Christian station, so it must be true.
It’s all wrong to think about blessings like they’re given out through a spiritual vending machine. With a vending machine, we get to look over all the possible things that we can chose from. We’re not sure who put them there, or even how they got there, but we want them. And we want them now.
They’re right there in front of us. Blessings that are brightly lit and looking so attractive. Each and every blessing is individually wrapped in shiny plastic, precut and premeasured into individual, single servings.
Each blessing in the heavenly vending machine also has lots of details about what’s inside. There’s a complete ingredients list, including possible allergic reactions.
There’s no doubt about the price or how much you’re going to get. The cost for each item is clearly marked in large, bold, black numbers. And you only get one for each payment. No extra blessings from this heavenly vending machine.
There’s also no question about how long it takes for the blessings to be delivered. You put in your money. You push the right number and boom. Instant delivery. Instant blessings.
There’s no faith. No trust. We put in our money, press the right buttons and they drop right to our outstretched hand. When it comes to the heavenly blessing vending machine, we get to pick and choose the what. The when. And the where.
This may sound odd, but God’s nowhere to be found with a vending machine view of blessings. Yes, he is our gracious savior who showers us with his grace and favor.
But that’s the point. It’s his grace. It’s his favor. He gives it when and where he wants. He’s got all the loving control on the timing and the amount. When we want it now, our view of his timing is all wrong. And then we want a discount, or an extra blessing for what we think is a late delivery.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
God’s revelation of who he is, his gracious gifts, and his blessings are all his. That’s the point. He’s the source. He’s the giver. There’s nothing that we can do to force his hand
Our job is to patiently wait. Period. Not to demand. Not pouting or throwing a fit. Not pointing to our cell phone calendar app, telling him that he’s late. Gods never late. He’s always, always, always on time.
God is our great heavenly Father. He’ll always be out Father. Even when we turn from him, he’s still our Father. Perhaps disappointed. He may lovingly discipline, but he never walks away from his children.
He gives more than we could ever earn or deserve. He’s not a vending machine when it comes to blessings. He’s kind, gracious, and altogether loving.
That’s exactly who I want to put my trust in. How about you?