In the 1880s, a wealthy father promises his young son a horse of his own for his 21st birthday. But when the day comes, instead of a horse, he gives him a motor car. Did he keep his promise, or not? The lawyers would have a field day discussing this because, on the one hand he did (his son now has his own independent means of transport – so the purpose of the gift is fulfilled) and on the other, he didn’t (no horse).
I hope those of us who are fathers (or mothers) can look back and say with confidence that we never gave our sons (or daughters) something that harmed them or interfered with their health or growth: and we probably acted that way, not because we were conscious of God’s fatherly favour to us, but because that’s just what fathers do (OK, there are exceptions, but it is what fathers who act like fathers do).
And God is no exception. But do we really believe that? Do we receive what God gives as something coming from Our Father in Heaven who loves us? Or do we secretly (or publicly) wish we had been given something else?
Jesus says we should ask, seek and knock – to receive the good gifts God has to give.
If you … 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! Mat7:11