In the late 70s my husband and I had the opportunity to study at L’Abri in Switzerland with Francis Schaeffer. We had been saving our money to go for quite a while, but between the cost of our flight and our stay, to say our budget was tight would be an understatement.
One particular “day off” we were hitch-hiking to Lausanne when a man in a small truck loaded with boxes picked us up. We rode with him until he reached his destination, a small grocery store which he owned. As we got out of the truck, Chip naturally began helping the man unload his boxes. After finishing, the man came running out of his store with a chocolate bar. He was so grateful for Chip’s assistance that he insisted Chip take it as a thank you. “I’m Italian!” he proudly proclaimed. (I think he wanted us to know he came from a generous heritage).
Well, this was no ordinary chocolate bar. This was Swiss chocolate! We had discovered Swiss chocolate not long after we arrived—and we were hooked. Whenever we splurged to buy one, we always doled out the pieces, savoring every bite, making it last as long as possible. Now we had been given one, and we were as excited as two little kids at Christmas. We began planning how much we would eat, how much we would save for later…and for later. Then, realizing the blessing the grocer had intended, I finally said, “Chip, why don’t you just eat the whole thing!”
I’ve never seen anyone enjoy a chocolate bar like my husband did that day. It was one of those moments when you are fully aware of God’s goodness….
There have been many times since then when we have encouraged one another to just accept the unmerited blessings of God. Rather than thinking we are only holy when we’re frugal, or on the other hand somehow deserving of the “good life” we’ve learned the importance of simply receiving with gratitude the gifts of grace He gives.
How about you? Do you ever struggle seeing God as our generous Father? The next time you are unsure about receiving may I encourage you to enjoy His gift with thankfulness, and “just eat the whole thing.”