If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13)
With his hand outstretched and a one word vocabulary, our toddler grandson asked me to pick more blackberries. How could I resist those chubby, purple-stained cheeks? Of course I hand-fed him the sweetest plump fruits, and also taught him about the dangerous thorns.
The Bible says God only gives good gifts, the plump sweet fruit of blessing. I agree with that truth in my head, but my heart secretly rages. Why does my wife have multiple sclerosis and my granddaughter suffer kidney disease? Isn’t God at least partly responsible for the misery in our world?
No, he’s not. A chain reaction was triggered by sin in the garden of Eden and it’s fueled by every human being since. The multiplied dysfunction of life is entirely the result of mans’ mistakes, not God’s. He creates the berries, we make the thorns.
I can’t throw humanity’s mud at God and expect it to stick. Our heavenly Father is goodness. All through man’s long history of failure, God’s character has remained perfect goodness. He eagerly shares his good gifts with those who ask and teaches us the danger of the thorns.
I asked God for more wealth and he gave me treasure in heaven, because God gives juicy berries, not spiky thorns. I asked for more popularity and he gave me eternal family, because he gives berries, not thorns. I asked for more health and he gave new vitality to my spirit, berries, not thorns. I must learn to ask rightly.
My grandson understood the formula. He knew what to ask for so I could never refuse his, “Mo, mo.”
Now it’s my turn to ask for more, and ask correctly.
Prayer: Father God, please give me more of your Spirit.