When God Won’t Give Me What I Want

by Jonathan Trotter on October 11, 2016

Is he really a “good, good Father”? We sing it often enough, and truth be told, I really like singing and talking about the good character that our Abba Father indeed has.

But sometimes it sounds like we’re desperately trying to convince ourselves. Because sometimes we doubt. And no wonder.

Because sometimes we ask for things that we don’t get it. We ask for more support and we’re still blank. We ask for healing for ourselves or someone we love, and they stay sick. Or they die.

We brush up against storms and trauma and we see horrific things and we question him. Where are you? Why this? Why him or her?

And they’re good questions. They really are.

And it’s OK to ask them. People of faith can (and must) ask these questions.

But still, resonating deeply, we wonder, is he a good Father?

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Have you ever asked for bread and felt like you were given a stone? Or maybe you asked for a fish and were pretty sure he delivered a snake?

You ever wanted to take your receipt to the Manager and demand he get your order right, at least this one time?!

Yeah, me too.

What then?

Maybe Jesus says it’s bread, maybe he says it’s nourishing and important, but maybe it looks an awful lot like a rock. Do we throw it back in his face, screaming?

We signed up for food, right? For bread and fish and nourishment. We demand, Feed Me!

But the gifts don’t come like we thought they would. The rewards of obedience seem delayed or even replaced with cheaper trinkets. We feel lied to.

What then? Do we chuck it all, sinking into depression or rising into anger? Perhaps both?

Or do we pause and listen for his voice? His voice that says,

Trust me. Look at the cross, look at the empty grave, and trust me. The cross is the proof. I chose it. For the Father’s glory and your salvation. Because I do indeed give good gifts. Namely, myself.

Can we stop and remember these truths? For we serve a good Father who says,

I don’t give rocks and I don’t give snakes.

In fact, I roll away rocks and I crush snakes.

Give me time. Perhaps give me eternity, and I will show you the extent of my love for you.

 My child. My little one. Be still.

 Rest. 

 I am here, and I give good gifts. 

 

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Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Matthew 7:7-11

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About Jonathan Trotter

Jonathan is a missionary in Southeast Asia, where he provides pastoral counseling at a local counseling center. He also serves as one of the pastors at an international church. Before moving to the field with his wife of sixteen years and their four kids, he served as a youth pastor in the Midwest for ten years. He enjoys walking with people towards Jesus and eating imported Twizzlers. | www.trotters41.com | facebook: trotters41 | twitter: @trotters41
  • Thank you! I have been feeling lately that ‘missions is ruining my theology’, and that I am repeating those songs to convince myself. Thank you for the encouragement to wait and keep trusting!

    • Hey there! I saw your blog post about how missions was ruining your theology. Good stuff! (I know that sounds weird, but you know what I mean.) Anyways, I’m glad this post was encouraging…

  • Thank you for writing directly to me… again.

    • I’m so glad it was an encouragement. Thanks for stopping by, Phyllis!

  • Joanna

    These words are all too real and, I must admit, hurt. However, they are true. Thanks for reminding me of this truth. Our Father does, indeed, give good gifts and He can be trusted.

  • Stephanie Melachrinos

    Just saw the title of this as a link under “Don’t Ask Me about My Christmas Traditions.”

    Thank you. I was grabbed by the title and reading it, I know why I clicked. Two weeks ago, I was specifically crying in church over the lines “You are good…You’re never gonna let me down…” as I repeated them over and over and saw things in the corners of my eyes that seemed otherwise. Those ones sitting on my right, they’re getting married next weekend. The 4 day old baby in my arms, his parents already have 4 kids. This is their 5th, and they are the same age as me. Here I sit, single. Why? Why do their stories get to be different?

    The beauty of the stone and snake – my perspective and His. Thank you for drawing my attention to it, once again. Even yesterday, I was singing along and listening to “There You Go” by Caedmon’s Call (http://www.metrolyrics.com/there-you-go-lyrics-caedmons-call.html), but it wasn’t sinking in. I needed to hear it again today.

    “Give me time. I am here, and I give good gifts.”

    • Thanks for your note, Stephanie. I’m so glad this article was able to echo what God has already been speaking into your life. Praying for you today and this holiday season!

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