As I was putting away our Christmas decorations this year, I was “assessing” our gift giving in my mind. All in all, I gave Rob and I an A. There were a few gift returns (wrong size/wrong color/simply didn’t like), but for the most part, we did just fine. It helps that our kids are older and can now provide item numbers and website locations for their most wanted items. It’s much harder to mess that up! And even though they are not little kids any more, Rob and I love seeing the delight in their faces when they open a longed for item or are pleased with a surprise. We adore our children, and we enjoy nothing more than giving them gifts they love.
And as I thought about all of that this morning…
Alyssa loved her wallet. I knew she would like that color.
Lindsey has already worn her sweater. I thought it looked like her.
Jake could not have been more surprised by his concert tickets.
I couldn’t help but think about our Heavenly Father – because the Bible is very clear:
Our God loves to give gifts to His children!
This world can sometimes give us a jaded image of us having to pry good things from His hand, of us trying to manipulate Him, or having to bargain with Him to get what we want. But that is so far from who God is and what He is like. Look at these verses that describe the way that God loves to give to us. Read them out loud if you can.
If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? If he asks for fish, will he be given a poisonous snake? Of course not! And if you hardhearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask him for them? Matthew 6:9-11TLB
Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk along His paths. Oh, Lord of the armies of heaven, blessed are those who trust in you. Psalms 84:11-12TLB
If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else? Romans 8:31-32TLB
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 1:17NIV
Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings on the land and it yields its bountiful crops. Psalms 85:12
Our God loves to give us gifts! Say it with me – Our God loves to give us gifts! Just as a parent loves to give their child what they have been hoping for, our Heavenly Father wants us to share our hearts’ desires with Him. It is His great pleasure to give us what we long for. Not only that – the Bible tells us that He wants to give us abundantly more than we can imagine. He enjoys great surprises more than we do!
Does that mean that we get everything we ask for, when we ask for it? No! And thank goodness! When I was teaching recently, one of the women had her 4-year-old little boy with her (my all time favorite age!) and I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. Without hesitation, he replied, “A drone!” “A drone?!?” I responded. “What in the world would you do with a drone?” “I’m going to watch everyone, everywhere, all the time,” he answered, as if that should be obvious. Now, while I can see the possible CIA potential in that little boy’s future, I am guessing that his wiser, more mature mother and father are not planning on getting him a drone for Christmas. Smarter senses will prevail. And the things we ask God for are the same way! While we may not see our requests as “drone” equivalents, our Heavenly Father who sees it all and loves us perfectly knows what He is doing and asks us to trust Him. When our God seemingly says “no” to our requests, it is not because He wants to withhold things from us or does not want to see us happy. Quite the opposite! It is because He knows more than we ever will and has something else in store. Today, will you join me in celebrating our God as one who delights in giving us good things? Will you join me in thanking Him for all that He has already given us and for all that He intends to give?
Some of us need to spend some time and intention tearing down a warped and confused view of our Heavenly Father as One who withholds or bargains. That is not who He is! But He understands our broken view, and He lovingly invites us back to Himself.
As I write this, I am thinking of specific women who I know and love, and their requests of God are honorable. They long for a baby, a spouse, to know their purpose, to find their place. They plead for healing and wholeness – for themselves or for someone they love. And though I know the waiting and uncertainty is difficult, I ask you to make your requests again today while celebrating the God who loves to answer. Our God is loving and generous, and He can be trusted. He delights in giving us good things. Keep declaring that with me today.