1 a : exceeding the limits of reason or necessity b : lacking in moderation, balance, and restraint
c : extremely or excessively elaborate
2 : spending much more than necessary
3 : extremely or unreasonably high in price
3 : extremely or unreasonably high in price
I don't consider myself to be an "extravagant" girl. If you come to my house for dinner, you are more likely to eat off of paper than china. I couldn't care less about diamonds or other expensive jewelry. My favorite shoes are my $2 flip flops. Ordering anything that costs more than $10 off of a restaurant menu makes my stomach hurt just a little bit. I rarely use hairspray or nail polish. I'm just a pretty simple girl. I would like to think that my husband would say I'm not all that "high maintenance". I usually consider my practical nature to be one of my positive traits, but....
Friday morning Duane took the boys out for breakfast. When they came home I was in my bedroom working on something. My sweet Micah, eyes shining, came to the room and said for me to come to the kitchen with him. Knowing he was up to something, I quickly followed him into the kitchen. When I got in there I saw a dozen red roses sitting on the counter. He, Noah, and Duane all looked at me for my reaction. Of course I smiled and told them thank you. I told them they were so pretty. I smelled them and commented on how good they smelled. I was trying. But deep down all I could think about was how a dozen roses were just too extravagant. I mean, how impractical. I thought about how expensive they must have been and how in just a few days they would die. I'm ashamed to say that I allowed my practicality to rob me of the joy that should've come with the realization that I have a husband who loves me so much he would buy me a dozen beautiful red roses even though it wasn't practical. Just because he thinks I'm worth it. I failed to fully appreciate the expressions on the faces of my sweet boys as they anticipated my response. I failed to praise my God for His creativity which is so evident in the beauty and lovely scent of a rose. I realize this is not a good thing, and I'm really trying to stifle these feelings. And it's had me thinking.....
Does this practical, non-extravagant part of me hinder my ability to fully accept God's love for me and the grace he pours out on me? Because only extravagant love could move an Almighty God to humbly become a man and live life on this earth. And only extravagant love would move that man to not only heal lepers, but to also touch them. Only extravagant love drives a perfect, sinless man to submit to having his hands and feet nailed to a cross for someone as sinful and imperfect as me. Only extravagant love prays through the pain on that cross, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." And only extravagant love could know my every thought, my every mistake, my every failure and still love me and call me His precious child.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. 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 5:1-2 The Message
So the roses were more than just an expensive, thoughtful gesture that will die in a few days after all. They were actually an extremely worthwhile gift. In fact, I believe it was quite likely Duane's obedience to God's spirit that caused him to pick those up and bring them home to me. Because I needed to be reminded. I needed to remember how extravagantly my Father loves me. Why? Because I needed to be reminded that I am also to "love like that". I would hate to think that my practical nature prevents me from doing this.
If you come to my house for dinner, you will still probably eat off of paper plates. I still don't give a rip about diamonds and I can't wait for it to be warm enough for my flip flops again. I'm still a practical girl. But from now on, when it comes to love, I'm shooting for extravagance.
The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
2 Corinthians 13:14
If you have time, turn off the music in the left hand column and listen to this beautiful song about God's extravagant love for us!