Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What is Good

Matthew 7:7-11
7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!"

I think a lot of people tend to read verses like this and think, mistakenly, that God is like a religious genie in a bottle. But the key in this verse and others like it is your intentions. Are you demanding of God to give you something or answer your prayer overly specific? Or are you asking instead for God's will to be done, or for God to give you wisdom about something, or for Him to give you strength through something? Or like Philippians 4:6, making a request to God with thanksgiving.

I formerly had a habit of praying like this, "God, please make me become pregnant." I was praying about it, not from a place of thanksgiving or humility, but more so translated, "God, I'll just die if I don't get pregnant!"

Whereas now I try to pray like this:

God, thank You for my husband and for all the blessings You've given us in this life. Thank You for Jesus and for saving a place for us in heaven. You know our hearts' desires to have children. We trust that You are good and that You care for us and that You are always with us. We trust that Your plan is better than our plan. Please give us children according to Your timing and will. Please give us strength to endure the rest of this trial and the suffering it includes. We desire to have biological children. If that is not Your will, please give us wisdom and guide us to the right decision. Please prepare our hearts for whatever You have planned for us.

I've read the above verses several times before. But something new stuck out to me this time. The last phrase, "your Father who is in heaven [will] give what is good to those who ask Him."
God knows I've been asking for a child for two years now. So why have I not been given a child yet?

Because "what is good" for me right now, is to not have a child. That's the only logical conclusion one could draw.

Only God knows what is truly best for us, what is truly good for us. He cares so deeply for us, that He is not in the business of withholding good from us out of spite. He is only good, remember?

Sometimes enduring hardship or not getting what we want is what's good for us. We just have to trust that God is the perfect judge of what is good and not good for us. If you're not getting an answer to something that you want right now, then that means He has something good planned for you. Not only in the future, but also right now. Look around for it. Seek it. Ask Him to reveal it to you.

I know how it can feel to not see the good. It feels like you are wandering around in the darkness of your pain, feeling like the world is against you and you're all alone and no one cares. But there is always some good to be found, if you try hard enough to find it. Because it's definitely there. God is not idle. It's not a mistake.

So here's my question to you. Whatever your life looks like right now, whatever struggles you're going through, what is the good that God's doing? Now read verses 7 and 8 again above. :)

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