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by | Mar 21, 2017 | Discipleship, Prayer

Many years ago when my wife and I were working to start a church we received an incredible gift at just the right time.

The job I was working didn’t meet the bills. It was a season where we truly didn’t know where the rent money was going to come from each month. My soul was plagued with anxiety most of the time.

I’m sure many of you have been there.

We were heading to the grocery store one day and grabbed the mail from the mailbox as we drove away from the house.

Bill. Junk mail. Junk mail. Bill.

Same story, different day. 😒

Then came the envelope I didn’t expect to see.

It was from friends who attended the last church we had attended, friends of considerable means who had a track record of generosity (you know who you are).

My heart began to pound.

I opened the letter. Inside was a card. With a check. (You remember checks, right?)

I forced myself to read the card before looking at the check. I don’t know why, but I did. Our friends wrote that the LORD had directed them to send a gift to help us with our needs.

So I looked at the check.


It’s one of the few times in my life I felt truly overwhelmed on an emotional level.

The timing of it. What our friends wrote. The love of God expressed so tangibly. It was too much for me to handle.

As the tears came, Mindi noticed and began to tear up even though she didn’t know what was going on.

One of the 4 kids noticed both of us crying and hushed up the others. I couldn’t speak. Everyone was waiting.

Mindi pulled our minivan into a gas station parking lot and I handed her the envelope, my throat too clenched from the crying to speak.

Then the tears really came as the depth of what had been done for us hit Mindi full force. She put her arms around me and we quietly wept together.

By that time, one of the girls was starting to cry and I became aware that we were unintentionally torturing our kids who were desperate to know if something wonderful or terrible had happened. Mindi became aware of it too.

She pulled away and smiled a beautiful, grateful smile at me, then struggled through her tears to tell the kids why their Mommy and Daddy were crying. I still couldn’t speak.

It was a wonderful day – a day when our family experienced the outlandish goodness of our God.

His generosity and care, coming at just the right time, did something in us that day.

It taught us, on a very deep level that the anxiety that had become so common in us was shameful in light of the abounding goodness of our Father.

The doubt-fueled fear about how bills were going to be paid vanished when we saw such a clear example of how generous and loving our Father is.

Sadly, we had to learn the same lesson a couple more times in years to come. But the LORD was so patient and taught us again.

And finally – finally – He planted a commitment in our hearts that we WILL NOT dishonor Him by fretting about money. Ever. Again.

And He has been faithful to keep us in that place of confident trust.

I don’t tell you that story to brag. It’s actually embarrassing to tell. I’m embarrassed by how long it took me to get it through my thick head and thicker heart that God REALLY IS faithful and trustworthy to care for my needs.

I tell you that story to put “real life” to the point Jesus makes in this passage.

…which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good gifts to those who ask Him!
We know how to give good gifts to our children when they have a need – even through the fog of our own sinfulness, selfishness, and impure motives.

HOW MUCH MORE do you think our heavenly Father, who is free of those things, knows how to give good gifts to us when we have need?

  • HE is the overwhelming, all-sufficient source.
  • HE is lavishly generous.
  • HE loves far better than we can comprehend or deserve.
  • He WANTS US TO ASK HIM to show His love to us by meeting our needs.
For me, it took many embarrassing failures before I learned to trust that those things are true.

Even now I find myself hesitant to ask Him for things that feel “too big” or “lavish.” I often don’t ask because I’m unsure of my motives. My faith obviously still has some gaps that need to be filled in.

But Jesus simply says, “Ask.”

Asking affirms (to our own hearts as much as anything else) that we BELIEVE OUR FATHER IS GOOD to His children, even more than WE are to our children.

So I’m going to work on this with the Father’s help. I want to become like a little child who simply asks, not worrying about motives. Not worrying about the “size” of my request.

But trusting my Father to respond to me with wisdom and kindness because it’s IN HIS NATURE to do so.

I’m going to ask. Are you?