One of my favorite shows as a child was The Cosby Show. As a kid, I always found myself identifying with the Huxtable children. As a parent, I find my memories returning to familiar scenes from the show, but this time, with sympathy for the parents. Because of some conversations I had with my own children this week, into my head popped a scene in which Vanessa Huxtable is having a conversation with her dad, Cliff. Vanessa has gotten into some trouble at school. Apparently, some classmates were taunting her about being a rich kid. Vanessa complains to her dad that it’s not always easy being rich. Cliff’s face contorts, as only Cosby’s face can, and he responds, “Let’s get this straight. You’re not rich. Your mother and I are rich. You have nothing.”
I laugh even now at how closely such scenes mirror my own life both as a child and as an adult. How easy it for us to assume that everything we posses are things we can take credit for (and if we can take credit for them, then we can complain about them, as well). We so quickly forget that all of life is a gift. Even the money in the bank that we have earned through our jobs, we have been able to earn because of some other gift that God has given to us – the gift of life, the gift of ability, the gift of time.
The Psalmist is correct when he declares, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). We, my friends, are not rich. God is. Without him, like poor Vanessa, we have nothing. Fortunately, our God is a generous God and he shares with us from his abundance. Let us remember to be gracious and content. Let us, like our heavenly Father, be quick to share what we have received with others in need.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! – 1 John 3:1