“Which of you, if his 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, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “Oh, I don’t think there’s anything in that black bag for me.” (Dorothy Gale, “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ). Ever feel that way about God? He can answer other people’s (Scarecrows, Tin Men and Lions) prayers, “mediocre commodities” compared to yours, which are just too big of an ask. Sure, you believe He could do it, but you don’t believe He will do it. “I do believe [you can do it]; help me overcome my unbelief [that you will do it]!” (Mark 9:24, NIV 1984).
God really does want to give good gifts to His children. This is not a health and wealth Gospel. For sometimes the good gifts take us through sickness and poverty. And we often think that He is giving us stones instead of bread, or snakes instead of fish. That is not what He is doing and that is not what He intends. But sometimes we ask with wrong motives. Sometimes the things we ask for will actually harm us (physically, emotionally or spiritually). Sometimes He intends something better than what we ask for, we just don’t realize it yet. Sometimes, the time is just not right, and we think the answer is no.
My Advice – When pondering will He or won’t He, let’s not forget the best gift of all. Kept hidden away in that “black bag” for ages. But “you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6–8, NIV 1984). There is no “gooder” gift, no “gooder” “good-deed-doer” than that. Especially since the salvation of our souls was not something we could accomplish on our own. Fortunately for us, not only could He do it, He willingly did it.
It’s kind of like this: “Well – [your inability forces] me into a cataclysmic decision. The only way to get [my children] back to [Me] is for Me to take them there myself!” (Wizard of Oz). It wasn’t the yellow brick road. For Christ, it was the Via Dolorosa. For us, “narrow [is] the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:14, NIV 1984). Many will want to take us down other paths, but all other roads “[lead] to destruction.” (Matthew 7:13, NIV 1984). So be careful. There are an awful lot of “bad wizards” out there.