Please read Day 32 in Why Pray, “Knowing What We Shall Be.” DeVries shares some wonderful childhood Christmas memories. He writes, “I don’t remember many of the presents, but I do remember with great clarity the excitement of anticipating the moment when we could open them.”
Oh, how I can relate to this walk down Memory Lane. My dad loved giving Christmas presents. He spent hours wrapping them with perfectly mitered corners; no tape showing; and bows he would make himself. He loved the element of surprise. He was notorious for adding rice and beans or bricks to a gift to confuse us when we shook the package! That man could take the smallest gift – like a package of socks – and wrap it in such a way that the anticipation outshone the actual gift! Many years he would put numbers on the packages instead of our names. The numbers had no logic. #1 did not mean the oldest child. #2 did not mean the middle girl! What fun we had on Christmas morning when he would reveal the secret code and we would be allowed to see what was inside – rice, beans, bricks, and all! As a parent, I can now imagine the joy he felt watching us the weeks before, trying to figure it all out, and then unveiling the mystery to us on Christmas morning!
I don’t remember what was in the packages with the rice and beans and bricks. What brings me joy is knowing that my Dad had so much fun loving us by spending hours plotting his surprises, planning the secret code for that year, and disguising and wrapping our gifts in such a way to make us squeal with delight! Thanks Dad!
DeVries continues, “God has a ‘Christmas present’ called heaven waiting for each of us….What we shall be …. He is keeping that under wraps, wanting us, His little children, to trust Him and live in excited anticipation of His goodness as we wonder that it will be like.” The Scripture Account in Luke is very confusing to me. It talks about rewards in heaven. I cannot even begin to comprehend what this means. Again I surrender not understanding and ask, “God, what are You trying to teach me (Dawn) today?” I think God is telling me that He is preparing a mansion for me in Heaven. He has surprises that I cannot even imagine! He has so much joy as He prepares this Gift for me. He asks me to simply trust Him –when the rice and beans and bricks are confusing –when I do not understand His ways –when the Scriptures are hard to understand. He asks me to trust Him until that Glorious Day when it’s time for the gifts to be revealed!
The next part of today’s entry asked some tough questions regarding the spiritual training in our homes. First, “Are we teaching our children who they really are?”
Maybe one Gift we get to open today is the reality of who we are!
We discussed this as a family last night and our two teenagers delighted us with their valuable insights! Being a Pastor’s Kid (P.K.) comes with some special privileges. Who else can waltz into the Pastor’s office, sit behind his desk and use his laptop without asking? Who else would know the Pastor’s password? (Besides the Queen!!!) Because of their relationship with the Pastor, they have also had the confidence to bring many of their friends into his office without an appointment, and say, “Wait here – while I go get the Pastor – I bet he can help you – he’s my Dad!”
The next tough question: “Are we training them to use prayer as the scepter of their ruling?
The Dictionary defines a scepter as a staff or wand carried as the badge of command or sovereignty; Kingly office or power; to confer the scepter on; invest with royal power.
Hmmm. A Scepter. Maybe another special Gift God wants us to unwrap today is His Scepter. And who carries a Scepter? Royalty. “Are we teaching our children who they really are?” Sons and Daughters of The King! “Are we providing the motivation to rule?” “Are we training them to use prayer as the scepter of their ruling?
We are God’s children. He is our King. That makes us Royalty. Being related to this King comes with special privileges, and responsibilities. We are His sons and daughters – which makes us Princes and Princesses. Just like Joshua and Sarah have special access to the Pastor, we too have access to the Heavenly King! In what ways are we sadly not accessing the King and all that He has to offer in order to make a difference in His kingdom? What years have we wasted on not using that Scepter of Prayer to access the King on behalf of the people in His kingdom! What opportunities have we missed using this Scepter to invest with royal power?
Finally, DeVries asks us to “compare the amount of time and energy that an average Christian family devotes to sports with the amount of time and energy devoted to learning to reign through prayer.”
Ouch! Delton and I have not done a good job on this one! We have been faithful taking our children to church, praying before meals, and reciting “Now I lay me down to sleep” bedtime prayers. We have spent countless hours at soccer, baseball, track, softball, and football practices. We have logged in hundreds of hours at Theater Rehearsals. But we have not the spent even a fraction of that time and energy devoted to teaching them how to pray with the scepter of prayer as a Royal Heir of the King! What a Gift that would be! As their parents, we are just now learning this concept at age 50! Oh, if we were to give them this Gift of understanding prayer in this way – how could they use this Scepter of Prayer in their lives for the Kingdom of Heaven!
How exciting! I am so thankful for these Gifts God has given me this day! I am excited to open and use these new-found gifts with my husband and children as we continue to pray for our neighbors and their families! How about you?
After over three hours of struggling with this blog I was ready to post it. I realized that I forgot to provide the Scripture for today - and almost decided to skip it since my Blog is so long. And then I read it.
I Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of the Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you?
Oh my. Is perhaps the best Gift of all hiding in this verse - amongst the rice and beans and bricks? Is the best present of all the people that we will see in Heaven that we prayed for with our Royal Scepter? Are the best Gifts of all perhaps going to be waiting for us in Heaven --- the very people that we brought into our Father's 'Office' and said, "Wait here while I go get the King – I bet He can help you – He’s my Dad!”
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