As we left our dear friend's home in Virginia, Joel looked at me and said, "I guess this is what Abraham felt like after he visited all those kingdoms." I knew exactly what he meant by that. I don't know if you have spent a lot of time in the Old Testament but God makes it really clear that his people should practice hospitality. Likewise, I get the sense that He blesses his followers for just letting Him lead. When Abe left some of the kingdoms he had to pass through, he often exited with extra goats, wine, camels, whatever was lavish and customary at the time.
This basically happened to us this last weekend. In the midst of Joel accepting his new position, we had planned on going on vacation this week. With the job change, vacation was no longer possible but we decided to continue on with our weekend plans. We were tempted to just call the weekend plans off but something told us that we needed this time to get away so away we went.
The purpose of this trip was to visit our long time friends and to purchase a car from them. This opportunity came up about a month ago, long before we realized that we'd actually NEED two cars. God knows what's up. Again, we just had a good feeling about it, so we went for it.
When we made it to our friend's house we were wined and dined all evening. We enjoyed a home cooked meal over an antique set of china on a beautiful table in a real dinning room (you have to remember we have lived in a dorm for three years now). Our friend's treated us like family. They shared their life experiences with us. They shared their financial advise with us (which we need). We walked through their garden and sat with them over a table made out of their family organ sipping mango tea. The hours we were there were so restful and rich.
When it was time to go, we bought that car and they gave us an amazing deal on it. It is much nicer than any car we would ever had afforded or picked out ourselves. But they didn't stop there. As we headed out the door, I was handed a gift bag full of teas (I love tea), Joel was given a huge cooler full of venison (we love deer meat).
We were full of homemade meals, delicious coffee, and warm hugs from people we love so much. We felt overwhelmed with both the physical gifts and gift of visual/emotional beauty of that time spent with people we love.
Driving through the Shenandoah Valley, marveling at the bright green hills all around, we couldn't help but accept the blessing. We just allowed ourselves to be blessed,abundantly blessed. We didn't question it whether we deserved it or how we got to this point. We just were grateful.
Joel's childhood pastor preaches about accepting God's blessings. We make the Christian life so hard, so painfully full of things we "should not do." What if God just wants you to do one thing- be present to Him. The God I have experienced loves pleasure. The God I have come to know loves gifts, is full of grace, and delights in our joy.
Look around your life. Can you see the blessing? Do you accept it? How many of us feel guilty for the good things that happen to us? We are God's kids and he wants us to accept his too much, too big, too expensive, too perfect blessings. Just accept it and be glad. It's OK.
Thank you, God.