It’s also the time of year when we see a particular phenomenon occur during these times of gift opening.
You’ve seen it.
The child, with tongue pressed to their upper lip and eyes wide open, lifts the lid of a box and pulls out… socks. Then the child, whose valuable time has clearly been wasted, swiftly lifts the socks and drops them onto the floor in one smooth and rapid motion while already reaching for another wrapped box, which they hope contains something they actually want.
I mean seriously, what kid is thrilled to get socks for Christmas?
But goodness knows they need them.
Take my son for example. I’m not sure how he does it, but he can wear a pair of new socks a few times and suddenly they have holes on the bottom of them so large that at that point they are really more a pair of leg warmers instead of actual socks. How does this happen so quickly? I don’t understand. But after cleaning out Karson’s sock drawer recently and throwing away enough holey socks to poorly cloth half his elementary school’s feet, I decided we’re buying him socks for Christmas.
A lot of socks.
I’m the parent here and I know what my kid needs. But, I’m embarrassed to tell you that the sock situation around here has gotten so ugly that Karson actually asked for socks for Christmas. Yeah, it’s that bad.
But regardless, I do know what my kids need. And sometimes my husband and I give them things that they don’t want. Take punishment, chores and non-flavored children’s Tylenol for example. But, we know what’s good for them and we do it all out of love. Even the socks.
As Christians, sometimes we give our “wish list” to God through prayer. We have specific wants and needs and with wide eyes and eager hands we wait for Him to come through granting each of our requests.
But sometimes we get socks.
Sometimes the circumstances of my life are not what I had in mind. I think, “Lord, I think you misunderstood. This isn’t what I wanted. Did you check my list twice?”
But He knows. He’s the parent here. He’s my Heavenly Father and he knows exactly what I need.
Matthew 6:25-34 talks about this. Jesus is telling us to stop worrying about what we will eat, drink and wear because our Father will take of us. He says,
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our end of this deal is pretty simple. Not easy, but simple. We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Our focus is to be on Christ and honoring Him with our life. And we should trust Him for the rest. He says, “and all these things (meaning the things we need) will be added to us as well.”
We can trust God to take care of us and to give us what we need. And He delights in often giving us what we want as well. He’s such a loving and trustworthy Father.
So as I watch my son open his socks this year I’m going to smile inside thinking about how my Heavenly Father knows what I need too.
Socks may not be very thrilling, but sometimes it’s necessary to give and receive them.
Don’t even get me started on underwear.