We had an awesome time Saturday with family and friends celebrating...all that we DO have!
It all started at the end of last fall with my son Isaac telling us he wanted to throw a "Winter Party." We asked him the question most parents would, "What for?"
He seemed surprised by the question. Probably for a couple of reasons: 1) Why do you have to have a REASON to have a PARTY? 2) Don't we already have so many things to CELEBRATE?
The poverty spirit makes you think that you will ONE DAY celebrate, rejoice, relax when "all is right." So many people live and strive their lives away with this mentality instead of recognizing the futility of living with both hands full instead and never enjoying what you DO have.
Solomon had this same insight: "There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. 'For whom am I toiling,' he asked, 'and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?' This too is meaningless-- a miserable business!" (Ecclesiastes 4:8 NIV).
By the way, it was Solomon's original illustration of how living with both hands full is a bad way to live- he also called it "chasing after the wind"..."Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind" (Ecclesiastes 4:6 NIV).
The point is, part of the childlike nature of the Kingdom of God is being able to celebrate what we DO have instead of focusing on what is NOT YET.
Don't get me wrong, there is a place for mourning the reality of what we don't have, the hardship of waiting, or the pain of what we have lost. But please remember that the Kingdom of God is paralleled to a party and a feast (Luke 15 and Revelation 19). We are transitioning to a Kingdom where one day there will be no more tears, save tears of joy (Revelation 21:4).
So it may have taken us a while to get around to it, but we (with Isaac's leadership and direction :)) decided that celebrating and enjoying what God has given - without having a specific "reason" - was a very Biblical thing to do.
Part of this party was a mindset shift from a poverty spirit to a wealth mentality. For example, while God never wastes, every party He has hosted in Scripture always had more than enough. On one occasion there were even 12 baskets of leftovers after everyone had eaten to their fill (Matthew 14:20). Another party slaughtered the fattened calf in what seemed like what was WAY earlier than ever anticipated (Luke 15:23).
And finally, and perhaps most pointedly, 1 Timothy 6:17 says that God gives us all things to richly enjoy!
"...God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy." 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV
Many of us have lived lives of striving where we think that God wants the slice of the pie of our life for enjoyment to be only a small sliver. However, this is an unbiblical mindset! The verse in 1 Timothy tells us that God gives us ALL THINGS to RICHLY ENJOY.
That raises many questions in my mind, but here are two to chew on: 1) How often am I choosing to enjoy what God has given in my life, without having to wait for the "next big break?" 2) Is the way I choose to celebrate and enjoy my life honestly marked by the word "RICHLY?"
Here were a few highlights from our party:
1) Isaac and Grace made homemade, beautiful signs to welcome everyone to our celebration.
2) We bought balloons to celebrate the day.
3) At the last minute, we realized we had an opportunity to hire a professional animal balloon twister to come to our party. And we were SO GLAD we did!
4) We had burgers, hotdogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, chips and TONS OF SWEETS! We let our kids have popsicles and juice boxes almost unlimited...that's big at our house!
5) Korie helped Isaac and Grace make homemade chocolate chip cookies the night before and put ice cream in between for cookie sandwiches. It was one of the highlights of the party!
6) We told our kids that we were going to choose to celebrate no matter who comes - even if it was just us. We were going to have an awesome party, thanking God for all that He has given us.
I truly believe that this party led us to a greater appreciation of all that we currently have and gave us a special contentment in our hearts and closeness to our God. We praise Him for the opportunity!
May God lead you to celebrate today, even in the meantime between where you are and where you want to be.