As a parent, there's just nothing better than to get to give my child a gift or surprise. The delight and innocent excitement that they express is simply priceless. As much as I love receiving gifts myself (and believe me, I do!!), giving my children gifts is even better.
There's a verse that I've been meditating on for the past two weeks that says this:
"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 7.11I don't like to be considered evil, but when you come down to the human condition, that's what we all are. But even in all my "evil-ness", I absolutely LOVE giving my children good gifts. Can you imagine how God must feel, then, to give a good gift to me, his child? He must absolutely DELIGHT in giving me and you good gifts!
But did you notice the end of that verse: "...to those who ask" ? James 4.2 says "You do not have, because you do not ask God."
Why don't we ask? Is it because our faith is too small to believe that God can do it? Is it because He hasn't given us what we've asked before, so we've given up asking? That never stops my children--they just ask all the more!
Do I believe I can ask of God anything I want and should expect to receive it? Of course not. Even I, in my evil ways, don't give my kids everything they ask for. Many of the things they ask for would not be in their best interests for me to give them. I believe the same holds true with God.
But I do believe that we often sell ourselves short simply by not asking. Or maybe we are selling God short and limiting his power at work in our lives by not asking. Are there things in your heart that you desire, but you just haven't gone so far as to ask God for them?
As a result of a few books I have been reading over the past two weeks, I have made a list of seven things I am praying about daily and asking God to do in my life over the course of 2010. They are big things--things I could not do own my own. Things that can only happen with God's power involved. In return, I also have my own list of things that I feel I need to do daily in order to live the obedient life that God is calling me to. I believe that obedience plays a key role here. We have to do our part in life and be obedient to the things God asks of us. I certainly don't reward my children's disobedience with gifts. That would not be a good parental decision on my part. I don't think God does, either.
I am anxious to see all that God has in store for me this year. If you are interested in what I've been reading, you can check it out here. (I bought mine from Amazon.)