From the time my children were born, I planned to give them lots of gifts. I intended to shower them with opportunities that would delight them. I was determined to give them things that would make their lives easier or better or richer or set them up for success.
As far as it depended on me, they would swim in an ocean, ride a bike, drive a car, have a girlfriend, attend college, mow the lawn with the big tractor, use a chainsaw, manage money.
Even so, I knew I couldn’t dump every good thing I had in my storehouse on them at once!
I didn’t want them to become overwhelmed or spoiled or entitled. I didn’t want to set my boys up to fail or get hurt.
Did you notice that most of the grand gifts I had for them required training to appreciate and manage? I couldn’t toss my infant into the ocean. Or give the car keys to a four-year-old. And they’d have to grow tall enough to reach the pedals on the tractor!
In order for my gifts to be a blessing and not a curse, I had to dispense my treasures to my boys as they exhibited the maturity to be blessed by them.
God has a storehouse full of riches and resources for you and me. Like any good parent, he longs to see his children supplied with gifts to walk in their calling, to be equipped and fulfilled for their work, and to be surrounded by people who will cheer them on. But he won’t give us those gifts all at once! He measures them out to us based on our maturity and readiness.
How do we access that storehouse of treasures and gain maturity? Very simply, we pray!
We may ask for his blessings, but if he doesn’t instantly grant our request, we must not get discouraged. While God is holding all sorts of good things for us, he won’t give them to us until the right time. He won’t set us up to fail or to be corrupted by the gifts he has for us.
But we want things now, don’t we? We’re accustomed to having what we want immediately. Overnight deliveries. Drive-through sustenance. Instant hot water. Immediate internet access.
When we pray for God to give us his good gifts, the desires of our hearts, and we don’t receive them immediately, consider that the answer is yes, but maybe not yet.
Remember how God sent Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery? It took Moses ten miraculous signs before they received their freedom (see Exodus 7–12). What if God was calling you to persevere through all ten plagues. Would you? Or would you bail at the third or the seventh or even the ninth, thinking you must have heard wrong or that God changed his mind?
What about Joshua and the tribes of Israel whom God told to march around Jericho for seven days (see Joshua 6). What if they had stopped marching after one day? Or after three days? Or after six?
If you were Joshua, would you have been able to withstand the grumbling and questioning from the masses? Would you have been able to press on and get the victory? Or would you have settled for the puny bit of land on the shores of the Red Sea?
Girlfriend, don’t settle for less than all the gifts God has in his storehouse for you. I assure you that God is ready to partner with you to make your life better or richer or to set you up for success. Look at all the things you’ve already received. Count all the bonuses and benefits you have. He’s not finished giving to you yet!
Verse for today: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows —James 1:17
God, thank you that I can trust you, and that you are a good, good Father who loves me. Let me wait patiently for the abundance, joy, and good gifts you have promised to me. Amen.