Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "It Is Well With My Soul"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 7:9-11 – 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! (NIV)
I had been busy baking for an upcoming social event. I was also caring for an eight-year-old who was eyeing the goodies as they emerged from the oven. Once the baking was finished, the decorating began. I painstakingly spread raspberry jam on five dozen tiny sugar cookies and then added a teeny top to each one. On top of this went a dab of vanilla icing and a sliver of red cherry. Finally, everything was done.
As I was preparing to pop the delectable treats into a freezer container, Erin sidled over and asked if she could have one. Her face fell when I answered, "No, you can't have one, as they are for a very special occasion." "But I really, really want one," she replied. "I know you really, really want one, but you can't have one of these," I repeated. "But you can have one of those," I told her, as I pointed to the very same cookies on the other counter. Her eyes grew round and big as she realized that the cookies that I was referring to were the large-sized version of the mini-cookies that she had set her heart on. "Wow!" was her reply as she scooted over and grabbed one.
Sometimes, much like Erin, we, too, have our heart set on something, only to have God say "No" when we ask for it in prayer. Much like Erin, we, too, can be disappointed with such an answer and perhaps even feel angry when we don't get what we think we should have. At such times, it is prudent always to remember that God loves to give good gifts to His children, so if He is answering "No" to what we are asking for, we should always remember that He is saying "No" because He has something even better in mind for us.
Today, some of us may be feeling disappointed concerning an unanswered prayer, a request which God has denied. If so, then I encourage us to cheer up. We need to stop fretting over what we can't have, and ask God to open our heart, mind, and attitude to the Wow! that He does have for us.
Prayer: Father God, how wonderful it is to know that You delight in giving good gifts to Your children. Open our hearts, minds, and attitudes this day to what You want to bless us with, that our lips might proclaim Your praise. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.