of the price He paid for me-
a thorn-adorned tree
As my husband and I walked our dog down the street, I noticed this bare tree- one I have passed countless times. But today, as I looked through it’s spindly branches, they resembled thorns.
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe…”
That lovely old hymn played on repeat in my head all afternoon.
I thought about all the times I jokingly tell my husband that he owes me for this or that…you know- for those little “good deeds” we do for one another. Like all the times I let him choose the movie we are going to watch, or the times I let him decide what “take-out” we order for dinner. If I am honest with myself, sometimes I do it with an expectation in mind. If I do for him… then he must reciprocate.
And the great thing is that most of the time that happens. But what about when I do good deeds for friend, acquaintances, or random strangers? Am I expecting something in return?
Sometimes I do. But staring at that tree today reminded me that He has already paid the price in full. No one ever owes me anything.
Every good thing I do for anyone-
even my husband-
should be done only out my love and obedience to Christ, and never for what’s in it for me.
One of the hardest things for me to let go of is my expectations of others. There have been many times when I have reached out, given to others, done some kind thing for someone- and it has gone unnoticed. Not even a thank-you. And I admit, that sometimes I have been disappointed. But He continues to remind me to “mind the nudges”, do whatever He asks, and to leave the rest to Him.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
But as I stared at those thorns on the tree today, I thought about how how He poured His life out on that cross for each of us- wearing a crown of thorns- expecting nothing in return.
Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5:2 msg
Lord, help me to live and love with the kind of extravagance that You have shown me. May I put my faith and my hope in only You! Help me to give with hands and arms wide open, and to do it with a cheerful heart!
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain-
He washed it white as snow.