Several years ago, just before Christmas, my boss and his wife treated my co-workers and me to an afternoon of extravagance. Each of us was pampered with a massage, facial and manicure. As I lay on the massage table having the yummiest-smelling creams applied to my face, I suddenly felt overcome with emotion. This is pure extravagance, I thought. Something we as women don’t often treat ourselves to–especially all in one afternoon! Tears welled up and one escaped down my cheek. I hoped the aesthetician hadn’t noticed. It wasn’t just the spa treatments that got me teary, but reflecting on God’s extravagant love.
I’m blessed to live in a beautiful place and work with a great team for a compassionate and caring dentist. My husband Randy and I have shared life together here for almost twenty years, an extravagant gift after the many years he battled alcoholism.
While I lay there with warm moist towels wrapped around my face, Christmas music played in the background. All Is Well, a Christmas hymn, stirred my emotions even more. The first time I heard this song, I felt like I was drowning in despair. My marriage seemed hopeless. This song promised otherwise. Because Jesus had come into this hurting world, there was hope. I had purchased the children’s book, All is Well, by Frank Peretti, during those dark times. I’d read the story to our sons and they gently teased me. “Better get the Kleenex for Mom.” They knew it didn’t take much to get me sniffling.
The story tells about a single mom’s struggle trying to make ends meet. Her young son wants to help. He loads up his wagon with everything that isn’t nailed down–including a box of Christmas ornaments. He goes door-to-door selling all the stuff–in July. The Christmas miracle happens when his neighbors get together and decide they’re going to help. The purchased ornaments are returned with enough additional funds to help the boy and his mom pay the rent. The story tells about God’s extravagant love–how He provides a way where there doesn’t seem to be one. In the midst of uncertainty and despair, we can believe that all is well because God is faithful. The story concludes with a look into the future. Even though the mom can’t see it, she will eventually earn a degree in nursing and find a job that provides for all their needs.
I was much like that mom. I couldn’t see into the future to believe God would faithfully bring us through the challenges we faced. I had no idea how that would happen, but the hymn and children’s story gave me hope to believe that all things are possible with God. His extravagant love is simply amazing.
Maybe you’re also in a situation that seems hopeless…there’s no way you’ll come through on the other side, or so you think.
But don’t underestimate the power of God’s extravagant love. It changes everything!