My daughter Arwyn turns five this week, and I’m not sure that it’s possible for someone to be more excited about their birthday than she is. She's absolutely giddy about it. That might be because she knows our family is pretty big on birthday celebrations. Rather than just celebrating for a single day, we turn birthdays into “birthday week,” spreading out special gifts, celebratory meals, and family activities over the course of several days.
Our goal is not to spoil our children. Every year we have to gently remind them that they won’t get everything they ask for. (Even so, repeatedly telling my daughter that she isn’t ever going to get that $400 drivable princess carriage hasn’t stopped her from continuing to ask every single year.) But if you’ve ever found a “perfect” gift for your child, you know how enjoyable it is to watch them open it and squeal with delight.
Reflecting on those moments makes Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount all the more powerful:
“So if you, who are sinful, know how to give your children good gifts, how much more so does your Father in heaven, who is perfect, know how to give great gifts to His children!”
I’d like to think that I’m a decent dad, but I’m certainly nowhere near the same league as our heavenly Father. What a profound comfort it is then to know that God takes such great care to give his children exactly what they need!
Of course, we must remember that this verse doesn’t mean we get a “blank check” from God – that whatever we ask for we will receive. As a parent, it’s partly because of the love I have for my children that I don’t get them everything they want. I know it wouldn’t be good for them. In the same way, (after some reflection) I am actually quite thankful that God has not granted me certain things for which I asked.
Only God has the wisdom to know which gifts are good for us and which are not. But we can have full confidence that God is our good Father, and if we ask for what is good, He will be faithful to supply it! Thanks be to God.