Even though God knows us better than we know ourselves – from our deepest longings to our greatest heartbreaks – he tells us to present our requests to him. I think now of the many times that his loving hand was on my life. Times he shielded me from things that I could not yet see (or possibly ever would).
In those times in particular, I’ve seen God as a Father…
…looking from the living room window – watching as the infatuation of his young daughter’s life pulls into the drive. Making the turn too quick, music too loud, indifference too evident. He walks coolly to the front door – leaving the car running. He’d rather honk, but knows only slightly better than that. (He’s heard of You). You reach it before he does. You step out onto the front porch and stand fixed. He extends a hand which You take – firmly, but somehow lovingly. You look into his eyes – and (again with love) say, “I’m sorry. Not good enough for My daughter.” He is angry. Disappointed. But only for a moment – then he remembers that it’s not worth the trouble and quickly turns, climbs into his fast car and speeds away.
I run into the living room hearing the squealing tires. Not even knowing that my latest obsession has been there. Daddy stands at the top stair – watching to see what I will do. I get to the window just in time to see him make the turn. I’m angry. “How could you?” I turn to You with blazing eyes. Shaking my fists. Clutching my adolescent heart. I want this. I need this. I deserve this… I start to make my case. As lovingly as You did with the boy, You move toward me extending both arms, speaking softly, “It’s not that he wasn’t good. He just wasn’t good enough for My daughter.”
“You see, from the time you were a little girl – even before that, really – I’ve had hopes and dreams for you. I’ve prepared a path for you that is for your good – even if it’s sometimes hard. I’ve watched you as you’ve grown. I delight in you and I want the best things for you. As you’ve gotten older, I’ve had to give you more room to grow into your self. You know I have always been here – just sometimes a bit further than arms length – again, for your benefit. Even then, when you have called out to Me, have I not immediately come to you? Immediately gathered you into My arms? Honey, I have prepared things for you that you cannot even imagine. I can’t share it all with you – some of it you wouldn’t understand yet. Some – I just want to keep as a surprise! But know this, I always want your good. You can be angry with Me. I can take it. Just don’t stay that way for long – a hard heart is not a pretty thing…and not becoming of My girl.”
I cry. I pout. I consider rebellion. I consider death. But in the end, somehow I know that everything You say is true. You’ve never given me reason to think otherwise. You’ve always come through in the end. You’ve always had my best interest at heart. You’ve always protected me – even from myself sometimes.
And somehow I know one day I will thank You for this. Maybe not today (today I want to be angry – my young heart is broken), but one day when it all comes together.
When I can see the bigger picture…
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Matthew 7: 9-11