If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him. Matthew 7:11 ESV
Today’s verse reminded me of how our sons would ask for things when they were children. Every request began the same way, “Daddy (or Mommy if I already said no!), can I have…?” As they grew, the scale of their requests grew. At two, they would ask for a cookie, at twelve, they needed five dollars for something at the store and by twenty, we were helping them buy (or repair) a car. My response was usually either a straight up yes or no, while their mom had a wiser method. She would hold the cookie firmly in her hand and as they grabbed for it, then would look them in the eye and ask, “What do you say?” Usually, they would tug at that treat for a few seconds before the light went on and they would smile and say, “Thank you mom!” Then Nancy would give them a big hug, release the cookie and they would delightedly run off to play, while swallowing the cookie in two bites! Now, that may sound cute, but it is exactly how Jesus teaches us to come. Receiving an answer to our request is not based on our deserving it, or whether it is “important” but on the fact that we are God’s child. He is our Father, and a far better one than we are. So, if we, imperfect parents know how to give good gifts to our children, imagine how much better gifts God loves to give, when we come.
But if we use this verse as a formula for getting what we want, then we may receive our gift and yet go away missing out on God’s best gift. We miss learning the gratefulness of simply being His children. We lose the chance to run off with His words, “Go in peace child!” ringing in our ears and the delight of pausing long enough to receive His hug. Why not come to our Heavenly Father, who loves us more than we can ever understand? Why not start with the confidence of a child asking, “Daddy may I have…?” and then receive the joy of God Himself bending down to give us a hug and His words of “Go in peace! ringing in our hearts!