as a kid, i remember watching cartoons that would feature the classic genie in a bottle episode. you know, the one where someone stumbles upon a dusty old lamp, and that, with a little bit of rubbing, out springs a magic genie, ready to grant the new owner three wishes of their choice. the episode that really sticks out in my mind for some reason comes from the old cartoon Ducktales.
i remember thinking to myself as a kid, “if i had a magic bottle with a genie, and i had three wishes to ask for anything i wanted,” because, of course, this was something i needed to think about at that age, just in case i ever stumbled upon a magic genie, “the first thing i would ask for would be more wishes.” actually, i think it may have been “infinity” wishes, but you get the point.
and boy did i think i was smart! i was so sure that i was the only person to have ever thought of wishing for more wishes.
thinking about this years later has certainly made me laugh. i am, of course, much more mature now: i know you can’t actually wish for more wishes! i would wish for really worthwhile things now. you know, like my own personal island somewhere in the pacific, or something really noble like that.
in thinking about this scenario, i stumbled upon something that seemed to reaffirm my faith in a perfect and all-knowing God. i began to think, if i were actually presented with this situation, that is the opportunity to have three wishes for anything of my choice, being made right with a perfect God, making right all of those many wrongs i’ve committed over my lifetime would not be likely to make it on the list.
and yet, if the Bible is true, if every sin against God’s law must be paid for with blood, then the very thing i need most is a redeemer for my wrongs. and that is exactly what we find in the New Testament, the greatest gift of all: a man named Jesus, both fully man and fully God at the same time, taking upon himself all of the sins of those who would come to believe in Him.
this point seemed to show me just how great and how loving God truly is. the book of Romans in the New Testament puts it this way:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 )
He knew exactly what i needed most, certainly more than i ever thought i needed for myself. and He provided that for me, and everyone else who would believe in Him for that matter, by sending His son to live a blameless life, only to be put to death and pay for the sins of my own two hands. and the Bible tells me He did this, even while i was still choosing to follow after my own sinful, selfish desires.
i have to say, it’s awfully comforting knowing i worship a God who knows my needs better than i do.