By: Melisa Carroll
When I read this verse, I generally read it from the perspective of the father and then reflect on the Father’s goodness and provision for us. But there’s another perspective here that I think is worth pondering-- the perspective of the son.
Picture it for a minute. Picture a handsome, genial, loving father. Picture a smiling, joyful, trusting boy. What’s going through that boy’s mind when he asks his father for a fish or an egg? It’s probably nothing profound-- just that he has a need that his father can meet and he has complete confidence that his father will provide for him. Let me repeat that part… he has a need that his father can meet and he has complete confidence that his father will provide for him.
When we read this verse, we rightly think about the Father’s provision and goodness, but we often fail to remember the other party in this verse and their important role. We forget that at the other end of the Father’s generous gifts, there is a child sitting and waiting with trust, confidence, and hope.
How often, in this crazy life, do we forget Christ’s words to us: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it”? (Luke 18: 17) What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God like a child? It means to have complete, simple, and loving confidence in God’s promises to us. It means that we expect Him to be good because we know that He is good. It means that He will provide for us whatever we need and that we trust in that provision.
When you get a chance, observe your little sibling or another small child in your life and watch them when they ask for something (like a snack or help) from their parents. How do they ask? Do they worry that their parent is not going to give them what they need? Do they fear that their parent is going to give them something that’s bad for them or will hurt them? Probably not. They probably implicitly trust that their parent loves them and wants their well-being, so there is no fear.
Why isn’t it the same with us? “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11: 11) Why is it so hard to trust that our loving God will give us everything that we need and fill us with His Holy Spirit? Why do we doubt? Why do we worry?
Well, probably because we’re human. The flesh distracts us; the evil one whispers lies to us; we think that we can do things better; we want things that maybe we shouldn’t have. The reasons are endless. But the bottom line is that He is still good. And He still provides.
So I challenge you this week. Relate to the Lord like a child. Ask of Him what you want and expect Him to give it to you. Trust that however He answers that prayer, He is still good and He will provide. Remember that “God’s ways are not our ways” (Isaiah 55:8), and that, just like a parent who knows what’s best for their child, God may not answer our prayers exactly as we think they should be answered, but He still answers.
So close your eyes. Reach out your hands. Don’t peek. Just turn your face towards Him and smile.