"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."
- 1 John 3:1
When my kids were little, Molly and I would occasionally take them out for ice cream cones. Sometimes, we’d drive to McDonald’s or Dairy Queen, order the cones in a drive-thru, and then pass them back, one by one, to our four children, all sitting eagerly in the back of our minivan.
The two eldest kids, sitting in the far back, usually got their cones first. The middle waited in their car seats, while delicious ice cream cones passed right over their heads. As you can probably imagine, that didn’t always go over very well - especially with the youngest, our daughter.
Seeing the ice cream cones fly over her head, her facial expressions changed - first to confusion and then sadness and then sometimes fiery anger. She’s part Italian and Irish and German, so not exactly a Stoic. Yikes. In any event, she’d cry and yell and pound her little hands on the car seat like a tiny Mussolini, thinking that we somehow overlooked her or were showing gross favoritism.
Molly and I would try to comfort her, saying sweet things like, “Don’t cry. We’d never forget about you! Your cone will be here soon!” Every single time, she got her ice cream cone soon after; she just had to wait a few seconds.
Not surprisingly, the more times this happened, the less she cried. Our daughter slowly learned that she could depend on us; that while one child might receive their blessing a little earlier than another, all of our children would - in time - receive blessing. We have no favorites at our house.
Sometimes, it’s frustrating to see our Father blessing those around us, while we seem to go overlooked. Feelings of confusion, sadness, and - yes - maybe even anger can follow. We’re tempted to think that God’s overlooked us, that he’s forgotten us. Don’t believe it.
Child of God: Your Father gives good gifts to all of his children, but their form and arrival aren’t always the same (Matthew 7:11; Ephesians 4:8; James 1:17). When your sister or brother in the Lord seems to be receiving some special treatment, remember a few things.
First, remember that you've already received his greatest gift, Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior (2 Corinthians 9:15). Out of the darkness of our fallen world, God shined the light of his Son into your heart that you might become his beloved child forever (2 Corinthians 4:6; 1 John 3:1).
Second, remember that God never forgets or neglects a single one of his kids (Matthew 18:12-14; John 18:9; Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 37:25). Your Father watches over all and overlooks none. You might need to wait your turn, but your turn is coming.
Finally, remember that God's gifts are uniquely suited for his glorious purposes in you and through you (Romans 8:38). You are a unique person with a unique calling, and therefore the form and arrival of your Father's gifts are uniquely suited to you as well.
There is much more we could say on this, and - by God's grace - someday we will! For now, remember this: You’re loved. Don’t forget it.