A Faith That Doesn’t Fit in the Bag
by Arron Chambers
When our kids were younger, one of our favorite Christmas traditions was visiting Santa Claus at the mall so our kids could sit in the big guy’s lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Young kids truly believe that Santa is capable of fulfilling all of their wishes.
One Christmas we decided to upgrade our Santa experience and departed from our usual trip to the mall close to our house (which was full of closed stores and seemed to be a few vacancies away from dying and going to mall heaven—the place where strip-malls can only dream of going) and drove to the nice part of town to visit Santa at the fancy Mall at Millenia.
The line to see Santa was long—stretching past Macy’s, Starbucks, and that store with the over-priced purses curiously named after an older and slightly overweight High School Driver’s Ed teacher who is famous for both swearing and wearing shorts that fit him back when he was in High School: “Coach”—but worth it.
We all noticed that each child, upon sharing their wishes and getting up from Santa’s lap, was given a little gift bag as they were sent merrily on their way.
Now, leading up to Christmas, our son Levi made it very clear—in no uncertain terms—that all he wanted for Christmas was a Superheroes’ Action Station (the boy equivalent to the Barbie Dream House, if the Barbie Dream House had zip-lines, laser gun turrets, and secret compartments stashed full of explosives). He wrote it on his wish list, he posted a note on the refrigerator, he called me at work and left it on multiple voicemail messages. He would have written it in the sky with smoke if he had his pilot’s license and an available biplane.
So, imagine how surprised his mother and I were when, upon being asked the question of all Christmas questions, “Young man, what do you want for Christmas?” Levi responded, “A G.I. Joe.”
“What did he just say?!?” my wife looked at me and exclaimed in complete bewilderment.
When Levi rejoined us, and after a moment to regain our composure as to look unperplexed and not unprepared for Christmas morning, we asked him why he asked Santa for a G.I. Joe when all he’d been asking for up until that moment was a Superheroes’ Action Station.
His answer changed my faith forever.
He answered, “Well, I noticed that everyone was leaving with a little bag, so I asked Santa for something that would fit in the bag.”
What is one wish you’d like God to deliver to you or to someone you love this Christmas?
God inspired the Apostle Paul to pray this prayer over and with the Christians in Ephesus, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 2:20-21, NIV).
Do you believe that? Do you believe that God is able to do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine? Or, do you ask God for only what will fit in the bag?
What’s on your wish list from God this Christmas?
Restoration of your marriage?
Wisdom for challenges you’re facing at work?
Healing for your broken body or broken heart?
Deliverance from depression?
For a prodigal child to come home?
A job that will allow you to pay your bills?
Faith to be strong?
Whatever you wish for from God, ask. Take Him at His word. He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, so ask for and imagine for more.
Now, He may say “Yes.” He may say, “No.” He may say, “Wait.” He may say, “Are you out of your mind?!?” But He’ll never say, “I can’t.”
Approach His throne like an excited young child approaching Santa at the Mall at Millenia with a full list and full confidence that He is capable of fulfilling all of your wishes.
On my wish list for you this Christmas is for you to have a faith that asks God for what you really want, even if it doesn’t fit in the bag.
Arron Chambers, author of seven books including his latest book Devoted, is the Lead Minister of Journey Christian Church in Greeley, Colorado, one of the fastest growing churches in the country. Learn more about Arron’s ministry at: www.arronchambers.com and www.devoteddiscipleship.com.
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