It was two weeks before Christmas, 1898. In a comfortable home on the South Side of Chicago, my grandmother and her siblings hatched a plan. They’d just found their Christmas presents in a first-floor closet, wrapped and waiting. Why not open them and surprise their parents? So they did, giddily parading around their home with their newfound treasures. Surely, their parents would buy new gifts! But their father dryly wished them a merry Christmas, and said there would be no more presents. The children scoffed. Come Christmas morning, they ran and found an empty tree. It was a loving but hard lesson from their father.
I’ll bet my great-grandfather experienced the same disappointment God felt when Adam and Eve failed to obey him after enjoying his lavish gift, the Garden of Eden. Today, we carry the weight of their sin. But God, our loving parent, promises to restore us if we wait, listen, and comply. We’ll fail sometimes, but we can always trust our loving Father.
Lord, thank you for your steady hand that lifts us when we fall. AMEN.