“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!” Matthew 7:9-11
My fears about God can be very illogical. I know that He is a good Father — that He has my very best interests at heart. But still, in the moment of conviction, when I’m wrestling with whether to give something up to Him, I have these lingering doubts at the back of my mind: will He take away something I love? Will He ask me to do something difficult? Will things unravel?
Rather than having childlike trust in Daddy to take me wherever He wants, I have childish insecurities. If I hand Him the toy in my grasp, I fear He’ll go put it on the shelf. But when I consider my heart as a father, I know that I love to give gifts that put a smile on my kids’ faces. I know I’d rather say “yes” than “no.” And I know that I take no pleasure in handing out consequences.
How much more loving, tender, patient, and well-intentioned is the Heavenly Father?
We sometimes treat God like a strict teacher who hands out grades, awards, and detentions. We make our good behavior the determining factor for receiving good things from Him. But there’s a problem: He doesn’t get the glory and gratitude. If it’s about our behavior, blessings become entitlement, gifts become wages, and going without becomes punishment.
But if it’s about Who He is, then “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:7). And as we respond with thanksgiving, the Giver gets the glory.
Dear Father, thank You that You are good, and that You are loving and tender and patient. Help us to trust in You and Your character, and to give glory to You in all things. In Jesus' name, amen.
Your feelings, fears, and behaviors make a lousy stick by which to measure grace. Will you trust the shifting shadows today? Or will you trust that your heavenly Father loves you dearly? Whatever is in your grasp, give it freely to your Father.