Thursday, January 14, 2010

Giving Good Gifts

Our small town movie theater, which gets movies a few weeks after their theater premier, is showing "The Princess and the Frog" this week.  So we surprised Hannah (who loves ALL things "princess") yesterday by telling her that tonight we would all be going to see "The Princess and the Frog."  You can imagine the way her face lit up and the excitement that burst out of her little princess body when we told her!  And she's talked about nothing else since then.  In fact, the second she got out of bed this morning, she said, "Oh Mommy, as soon as I woke up I remembered we were going to see the Tiana movie tonight!!"

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 7.11
I 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:  " 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.)


Leah in Iowa said...

Great post, Karen! I need to sit down and spend some time in thought and prayer, considering what God's good gifts are. And then praying more specifically that he would bless me with those if He sees fit. Thanks for the encouragement!

Bev said...

Sounds interesting :-) I love the idea of setting dreams before God and being able to rest in knowing he'll sift them, sort them, and give you what is His best for you. I also love that there's a movie out there clean enough to take a little girl to these days - that's a rarity.