HEAVENLY FATHER, BEST FATHER // JUNE 17, 2022
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Think of the best gift giver ever. Then think of a parent who loves his/her child unconditionally. Often, we tell our kids there's nothing they could do that would make us stop loving them. Or wanting the best for them. It's why Jesus used this comparison: God's a far better gift-giver than even the most generous or best gift giver we can imagine. And if a parent wants the best for his/her kids, and those kids ask for bread, would any parent give him a stone instead? Would a parent whose kid is asking for fish give her a snake? If even we, as imperfect parents, know how to give good gifts to our children, we can expect that our heavenly father can far outgift even the best parent or the best gift-giver.
Ever really talk to an older parent? They might describe the parenting experience as one full of love and heartbreak. Even still, healthy parents want amazing things for their kids. Jesus told us that if even we, as imperfect parents, want to give more to our kids, can we imagine how much more God wants for us? If that's true, why have we stopped asking him for his best for our lives? Our present reality is not our permanent reality. The world may be what it is, but we're not victims of society, our employers or of inflation. We may have had unanswered prayers that have yet to happen: maybe that relationship was not restored and is now over. Maybe that healing you were believing for didn't happen, and your family member passed away. It could feel disappointing and discouraging enough to make us stop asking. Imagine, though, getting to heaven and having God tell us or show us the things he wanted to give us, but we never even asked for? Even if you've given up on God, know that he hasn't given up on you. We can keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. We can be relentless, not restless. Persistent, not panicked. Our heavenly father has so much more for us than whatever we're living in today. What if we prayed big? Asked boldly? We just might see God exceed our expectations! He wants to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask, think or imagine. Because that's just the kind of daddy he is.
How about you? Which big prayers will you make today? What will you boldly ask your heavenly father who wants only the best for you? If you want to seek wisdom today in what you're asking him for, consider asking yourself the following:
- Will your request only benefit you, or will others benefit, as well? His gifts are not just for you, but to benefit the things he wants to do with you.
- Can you get it with your own hard work? If you can do it yourself, your request isn't big enough. People need to declare: "Only God could've done that!"
- Are you really ready for it? Let him get you ready.
- Will it bring you closer to God in community, or will it push you farther away?
- Will it bring God glory?