The school year is coming to an end, but just as I feel like things should be winding down, the exact opposite is happening! There is much to do before we leave for China on May 31st (like my teaching job, which doesn’t end until the 29th), and as soon as we get back we have the weight of fundraising a large amount of money (so that our child will have health care -kind of important), getting ready for the new school year in August and of course the task of getting ready for our baby. I had actually been looking forward to maternity leave so that I could get some rest! Ha!
That being said, some wonderful friends of ours decided to give us an incredible gift when they invited us to spend a week with them relaxing in a vacation home at the beach in Washington State. All expenses paid!
There are so many things that I am grateful for in this invitation.
First of all, there is no way that Jon and I would ever be able to take a “real” vacation like this, we could never afford it. So for us to be able to experience this getaway without paying for anything is quite literally a dream come true.
Secondly, at a time when I have been feeling rather lonely and isolated here in Tucson we get an offer to spend a week with some of our best friends that we haven’t seen in almost two years. What a gift!
Thirdly, Jon and I both have a difficult time relaxing so to be swept away for a week to gaze at the ocean, read, and laugh with friends could not be coming at a better time for us.
In all of this generosity that our friends have bestowed upon us I have feelings of gratitude but also great debt. I love these friends of ours and am thankful that we have remained so close over such a long distance but have had ideas running through my head all day about how I can be a better friend to them. I should be better about calling her. We should send them a gift in return. How can I earn this great present they have given us? What can I do to make it worth it to them that they are spending all this money on us?
The answer of course is nothing. I feel helpless in that nothingness. I feel empty, like I have nothing to offer in return, no thank you that is special enough. Certainly no money to pay them back in any way, shape or form. No more time or energy to be a better friend than I did before they gave us this gift. Nothing.
Through this helplessness I see the love of Christ and how He died for me, knowing that I could never pay Him back. Knowing that there was absolutely NOTHING I could do to make it up to him. I try being a better person for God, try spending more time with Him, try being a better Christian, try to work harder – but I usually fail at those things and even when I don’t they still don’t even come close repaying the debt for what He did for me.
God saved me through grace, not through my own works.
God saved me while I was a sinner, not because I was worthy.
God saved me because I couldn’t save myself.
God saved me knowing I could never pay Him back.
Thank you Nathan and Andrea, not only for the fantastic gift of vacation that you are giving to us, but also for helping me to further experience what Christ’s gift means to me, and for causing me to be even more thankful to Him.