"Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?"( The crabby, tired, snappy mother.) "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ..." Romans 7:24-25.
I wish I could claim that I immediately snapped out of my crabby attitude. I didn't, but a nap helped. But if God gives me such beautiful gifts even though I am a wretched soul...what great gifts await me in Heaven, when I am made completely perfect, able to worship Him without hinderance? Praise be to God for the gifts given me...His over and beyond anything grace! (2 Corinthians 9:14-15)
In Chapter of 9 of Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, he's giving the Corinthians a heads up on a giving opportunity and teaching them about giving. In my times studying this prior, I have thought about the giving of financial gifts, but now reflecting on this incident, I see it in light of a mother giving gifts of time, compassion, comfort and training to her children. In verse 5, Paul wants them to be ready to give "a willing gift, not as an exaction," (expecting something in return). Fatigued as a mother, I sometimes selfishly think, "When is it my time? When do I get?" But as Paul says, we are to give our time and efforts as a parent expecting nothing in return. We are urged to not be people of give and then take.
"Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly," (verse 6) reminds me that I need to heavily invest in my goldenheads. My heart must be in the right place, as verse 5 teaches, willingly, but in addition to this, I will get my reward--in God's time, for "God loves a cheerful giver," (verse 7). And during this time of giving to my family, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things in all times, you may abound in every good work," (verse 8.) He will generously provide all I need for my physical strength, sanity, emotionally, in all things at all times. Paul repeats all four times in that verse. He is sufficient in all!
And again in verse 11, I am reassured that I will be "enriched in every way to be generous in every way." I can be sure that God does not call me to a task which is too big, great or difficult for me to handle. And even this comes with a promise that His enriching me will make the goldenheads thankful, someday, if not today.
By persevering in motherhood and investing in the girls I am supplying the needs of the saints (verse 12)...the needs of the goldenheads. And in their eventual thanksgiving, that will bring glory to God.
And finally in verse 14, Paul talks about the "surpasssing grace of God" upon the Corinthians. I note that surpassing is a verb and means
1) to surpass in throwing, to throw over or beyond any thing
2) to transcend, surpass, exceed, excel
3) excelling, exceeding.
God's grace is a gift that causes joy, given freely, without reason or cause for it. I don't deserve His work and enriching power in my life but He gives it because He chooses to and in addition, He gives it actively, continually over and beyond what I could muster up in my own energy and effort.
I am not perfect, but I am continually empowered by the perfect Creator, the giver of life. I concur with the apostle Paul in verse 15, "Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!"