Nov 27, 2007

The Good Gifts

“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

Today I went Christmas shopping for my son, Cooper and I was ecstatic about it. I had in mind what I wanted to buy him (because he had made it clear after all) and was double and triple checking the toy aisles to find exactly what he wanted. Maps. Yes, maps. This kid sits enthroned on his car seat and peruses the Dallas area map telling me which direction to drive. Never mind that the map is upside down and that he’s pointing at an airport while directing me to the zoo. Details. He just loves gazing at the tiny, crooked lines of the country roads and the big, blue signs that number the major highways. I also believe that he enjoys telling me what to do, but that is beside the point. Anyway, our problem is that the map he has to look at is as large as he is and when he finally manages to get it opened up, it has become a head to toe blanket. Hence, his desire for his own toddler-sized map. And although it was difficult to find (I spent an hour in Target), I loved looking for it. And what I found was better than I expected: a plastic, easily foldable, small map of Texas, including detailed maps of the major cities! Just his size! And do you know what was right beside it? A kid’s atlas with fun activities included on every page! He loves dot-to-dots! I know that I’m getting a bit excited about my find, but I just know that it’s going to make him so happy. It pleases me to be able to give him the gifts that he desires.

Isn’t that just like God? Don’t you know that He is pleased to bless us? So many times in His word, He instructs us to ask Him to fulfill our needs. We are told to ask for wisdom (James 1:5), to present our requests to the Lord (Php. 4:6), to come to him for our “daily bread” (Matt. 6:11), to simply ask (Matt. 7:7). So why do we hesitate? If God wants to give us gifts and even says that every good and perfect gift that we receive comes from Him (James 1:17), what’s holding us back from asking? I, of course, have a few ideas.

*We simply don’t think about it. Whatever our need is seems so trivial, we don’t even think about approaching the throne room of God on its behalf.

*We’re too busy. If I’m not carving out time to spend with God, then I’m definitely not praying like I should. This also robs us of peace because we are trying to do it all on our own again.

*We don’t want to be disappointed. If I don’t ask God for something, then I can’t be disappointed when He doesn’t provide it. The problem with this one is that in asking God to do nothing, sometimes that’s exactly what He does: nothing. He still protects us and watches over us, but we have cheated ourselves out of seeing God work in this particular situation.

*I wrote the book on this one: we’d rather worry and do nothing than ask God and find peace. Ouch! I know; I’m sorry if that one hurt. I’m a bit bloodied by it, too. I think as women, we are natural worriers. Even though it’s no fun, it’s comfortable. We’re familiar with it. We’re more unfamiliar with the whole asking and trusting thing. But again, we are cheating ourselves of the peace we would find if we would learn how to present our struggles to the Lord and choose to believe that He’s going to act on our behalf (Isa 64:4).

Are you trying to do it all on your own? Or are you one who is afraid to trust God again because you feel you’ve been burned in the past? Maybe, like me, you’d rather just sulk and worry than get on with it. Ladies, God says in John 10:10 that the life He means for us to live is an abundant life. A full life. But He also says that we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). I want every aspect of abundant life I can get my hands on! I want all the joy, peace, love, wisdom, strength, and effectiveness that He wants to give me. I want it all. I surely don’t want to miss out on any part of it simply because I wouldn’t ask for it.

This Christmas season, with all of the giving that’s going on, let’s let our Heavenly Father give to us. Let’s bring it all to Him, no matter how small or big, and expectantly wait for His answer. He will answer. And be assured that the response we’re looking or hoping for will pale in comparison to what He will do. Let Him show off in your life! He is always up to something, and that something is good and loving. His reply may look different than we had anticipated, but it is ever for our benefit and for His glory. Will you cooperate with Him? Will you trust Him? Will you let yourself be given to? Unlike a child who is not guaranteed what he has asked for, we will be given to. Let Him do it.

Memory Verse:

Isaiah 64:4 - “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”

Thank you, Lord, that you are so involved in our lives, that you want to give to us. Father, help us to remember to pray for everything that we would ever need, should it be spiritual like wisdom, joy, and peace or material like mortgage. You are the Meeter of all of our needs. Thank you. We praise you, Jesus, and ask this in your name. Amen.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!

LOVE YA
YOUR CRAZY AUNT (YCA)

P.S. I AM REALLY ENJOYING YOUR WRITINGS, ITS IN LAYMAN TERMS!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Misti. It's always just what I need to hear and I look forward to it every week!
Heather

Annette said...

Misti, I love reading your blog. You do a fantastic job at explaining things. I look forward to it every week. I'm a fan!! Thank you, sweetie!
Annette

Misti said...

Annette:

Good to hear from you! I didn't even know you were reading. Thank you for your sweet words. Miss you!

Misti said...

Heather...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Miss you too! This is a great way to keep in touch with my friends!