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?
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.
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.
I am here, and I give good gifts.
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.