Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Word Filled Wednesdays: Asking for Gifts

Which of you, if his 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!

Matthew 7:9-11, NIV

I am sure most of us, as children, were taught that it is impolite to ask someone to buy you a gift.  A gift should be given freely, and willingly.  But when it comes to parents, everything is a gift to their children.  Parents give their children life, and a home, and limitless, unconditional love.  And, when children learn this giving nature that their parents have, they start to ask for things.  Mommy, can I have a puppy?  Dad, just five more minutes of t.v.?  Mom, can we go get ice cream?  Often times, children can seem lacking in gratitude for all their parents do for them, and give them.  I am sure I have done that myself.  But that never stops parents from giving, and giving, and giving.  I know if I were starving, my parents would gladly give me their last morsel of bread.

So is the same with God, our father.  He willingly and freely gives us so much.  The breath in our lungs, the earth that we live on, His love, His son...He wants to give us so many good things, if only we will ask for them.

As Christians, I think we often interpret this giving nature, as out lined in the Scripture above, as a sort of carte blanche to ask, and expect, anything we desire.  But what we must remember is that our greatest desire should be God.  His grace, His love, and His will.  So many times we ask things like, Father, please let me win the lottery, God, please let me get this job, Lord, please take away my pain.  When those wishes are not granted, most people have one of two responses: I was not worthy, or God is not listening.

My friends, we will never be worthy of the gifts God gives us, that is why they call it grace.  What the Lord grants us has nothing to do with worth.  And rest assured, He is listening.  Every prayer we send to heaven reaches His heart.  What we need to remember is that sometimes, the answer NO is the best answer to our prayers.  It is hard to accept, trust me I know, but God knows what is best for us.  Just like when I would ask my parents for things that were not in my best interest and they were forced to say no, God too must protect His children.  It is hard for us to understand, but we must trust in Him.

When people continually hear the answer no, they get frustrated, and eventually stop asking.  When it comes to God, I think this is the wrong approach.  Do not stop asking, just ask for different things.  Ask Him for guidance, for His will to be shown, for peace about a decision, for comfort over a loss.  These are things no parent would deny their child, especially not God.

And thank God for answering all your prayers, even when the answer is no.