Summary: God is concerned about our desires, our direction and our destiny.
FATHER KNOWS BEST
Text: Matthew 7:9-11
I read a story of a father who was preparing to go on a trip to grandma’s house over the Thanksgiving Holidays. He describes the episode as if it were a theology lab. This father and mother began comparing their mental notes of spiritual perceptions. He said, “A journey is a journey, whether the destination be the Thanksgiving table or the heavenly one. Both demand patience, and a good sense of direction, and a driver who knows that the feast at the end of the trip is worth the hassles in the midst of the trip. ” (Max Lucado. The Eye Of The Storm. Dallas: Word Publishing, 199, p. 115). He continues as he says, “When I’m in the driver’s seat as the father of my children, I remember that I am in charge. But when I’m in the passenger’s seat as a child of my Father, I forget that he’s in charge. I forget that God is more concerned with my destiny than with my belly … And I complain when he says no” (pp. 116-117). What godly father could not relate this reflection to his own life to see how true it is? God is concerned about our desires, our direction and our destiny.
The things that we want are not always the things that we need. Someone expounds upon Matthew 7:11 this way: "If those whose goodness is mediocre at best are ready to take seriously the requests of their children, how much more will the heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him" (Dougals A. Hare). (Dougals A. Hare. Interpretation: Matthew. Louisville: John Knox Press, 1993, p. 79). All my life, I have heard that God always answers prayer. In one of his country music radio hits, Garth Brooks sings in a song about how he thanks God for unanswered prayer. Perhaps, by "unanswered prayer" Garth Brooks means not receiving the answer that one wanted to a given prayer. God always answers our prayers. All my life I have heard that God answers prayers in one of three ways, yes, no or wait.
Imagine that you were going on a trip to your grandmother’s house for some special occasion. Then, one of the children mention that they would like to stop and have some ice cream. Ice cream is something that we can do without. But, the child wants the ice cream. Just because the child asked for ice cream does not mean that he or she will get it. By the same token there are times when we ask God for things that we do not need. The reason that we do not always receive what we asked God to give us might be because it is sometimes God’s will for us to wait. Then there are other times when what we want is not in His plan for our lives because of how it might make us miserable, or hinder us.
Most children are not naturally aggressive. There are times when children might seem demanding, impatient or even perhaps unreasonable. They do not usually push themselves into the being the center of attention. I once read the story about a tiny boy who was seated at the dinner table in his high chair. "... Suddenly he threw his plate in to the floor. His mother was furious. "Go to you room!" she ordered. "You will take your meals there until you learn to behave properly!" The little fellow tried to defend himself but his mother silenced him. "You must learn to be courteous and polite," she declared.