We have been seeing a lot more of our daughter and grandchildren lately and that is a good thing. I initially thought it was because of the episode Pastor Sandi had with the blood pressure. That was a scary time. Even though we knew we were not walking through that valley alone the reality of what you are wrestling with can become daunting. We came through by the grace of God and the prayers of the righteous, for which we are most grateful, and today is a brighter day. Spring is here and with it comes new and invigorating life. That brings me back to our more frequent visits from our grandchildren. We are always glad to see them for they are full of new life and our daughter is happy to bring them over, but she has cautioned us to beware. All is not necessarily as it appears.
Our daughter shared with us that she has been convicted by the stewardship teaching she is receiving at her local church and moved to get out of debt, totally. She sat down with the children and shared with them what she had learned regarding God’s desire that we owe no man. As a result together they developed a three year plan for getting totally out of debt: house note, car already paid for, student loans, credit cards, the works. Everyone has to do their part. They now carefully plan trips in the car, even for necessary things to assure it is a good use of time and gas. What she said really test the children’s resolve is that they do a lot more coupon shopping and buying generic. So she hears remarks like are these “get out of debt” potatoes. Is this “get out of debt” bread? Now her caution to us was to welcome the grandchildren cautiously because they might be coming to just get away from “get out of debt” food and leisure time with electronics. I assured her our children would not be so deceitful.
I want to defend the children and their innocence, but the scriptures caution us along a different line. Jesus accused many who were following after him of being guilty of just wanting the free food. They knew with Jesus they could get a good meal. Many of those who come to receive services from Hearts and Hands do so because they know they can get a good bag of food. That does not even consider those who attach themselves like leaches to big hearted stars and athletes because they know they will get a good meal. Even in the church there are those who join, attach themselves, and work to maintain a place for no other reason than they know they will be received well.
We may find ourselves challenged by the idea that our good intentions may be abused by some we seek to help. Few of us would turn our grandchildren away, but what about the stranger at the door. Again we can look to Jesus. Even though he knew the hearts of many who followed he did not turn them away nor does he turn us away when our hearts may be moved by selfish want and not undemanding love. Still Jesus invites all to come. God must work on our hearts anyway but for that to happen we must come. So must we open the doors wide to all who would come that we might love and share and give and forgive so God can transform all our hearts by grace and love.