If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Luke 11:13 NASB
Evil?!! I'm not evil!! I give my son organic apple juice, veggie straws, and we eat a home-cooked meal every single night!! I'm not evil!
But, in reality... I'm only so good. I'm only so human, and I only know so much.
This scripture catches me every time. Not because it calls me "evil" - and seriously, the Greek word just means, "human"- but because it compares God to our fathers, and being a Heavenly Father. Now it's starting to make sense a little.
Every day, all day, I feed and nurture my son. I am the purveyor of crayons, bubbles, shapes, and colors. I am the dispenser of food, the dryer of tears, the put-er-down-er of nap times, and reader of stories. But when Dad comes home, the world tilts back on its axis. Whether he's been gone for weeks, days, or hours, the party is the same. And Dad knows what's good. He knows the good shows on TV, he gets the good snacks, and we get apple juice. Dad will swing a little boy around like a monkey; he'll read Goodnight Moon in 9 different accents; he'll let you ride on his back.
Something pretty cool about Dad.
God isn't any different. There are more facets and ways to understand Him than our brains could entertain in a 1000 lifetimes. There's the constant teaching, leading, and guiding of the Holy Spirit; the one that consistently instructs, comforts, and reassures. But there's also the Daddy. The one that wants to go for ice cream, stay up a little later and talk, go digging in the mud for worms, or have a tickle fight right before bed. Luke 11 also tells the story about the Dad whose kids are all snuggled in bed - with him - for the night. That's our God.
He gives such good gifts.
A few days ago, it was "errand day" at our house. Unfortunately, that fell on the hottest day of the year so far. Not sure if you're keeping track, but my due-date is just around the corner, and doing multiple stops in the heat was tougher than I thought it'd be. Jminator really was doing great, but I could tell it was wearing on him also. Our last stop. I went around the corners of Aldi like a Mission Impossible scenario. Grabbed what we needed, and at least had some staples to last us for a while.
My son has 3 meltdowns. He's overtired, overheated, and starving just like I am. I'm so dehydrated I'm having contractions. It's time to go home.
My debit card won't work.
They try again. And again. And again. They try different registers. They try running it different ways. The store manager states "there's nothing else we can do. Can you go get cash and come back?"
I was being as nice as I could, which, admittedly, wasn't very nice. "Words can't describe how much that's not going to happen." I said.
"Oh, okay then." said the lady. They had tried the card so many times that a hold had been placed on it. Even if I wanted to go to an ATM and re-visit the store (NO.) It wouldn't have worked. Then the snarky comments came from customers. Not a lot, mostly under their breath.
Looking back on it, I was a hot mess, and maybe deserved it. I had been out all day; my hair looked like I just woke up; my belly band that was keeping my shorts on had shifted, so you could see some mid-drift - not the best look when you're 9mos preggo. Our washer broke a few weeks ago, and a lot of my nicer stuff wasn't clean. I wore an older t-shirt that still fit. In short, yeah... not my best look. Now, here I was trying to buy groceries with a screaming toddler who took apart the diaper bag in 30 seconds. I was frantically trying to get everything back in it, trying to leave without causing a scene. I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to put El Crankypants down for a nap.
I'm crying in the parking lot harder than I have a right to. A lady comes up to me; she tells me that she can't let me leave without at least getting something. I can't accept it; so what does she do? She gives the money to J and says, "Give this to your momma." The little turd does exactly what she asks. I'm crying, again, and go back into the store. I grab milk, and the cashier stops me. Apparently, they hadn't really had a chance to put most of the stuff back, so I could go back through my cart, instead of having to go back through the store.
And all of a sudden, people came out of the woodwork, handing me cash. By the time it was said and done, I literally had just about everything that was originally in my cart paid for - even the coffee!! The coffee!! I left that day, sobbing. I mean uuuuugly crying. All the way home.
God even paid for the coffee. And some cookies.
He got the good stuff, too: the spinach and cheese, the potatoes, zucchini, and carrots. But He didn't forget that I really like coffee. And that's a good gift.
Mommas, it can be hard to understand the good gifts scenario, and I understand that. If you haven't had the best example of a father, it's like trying to understand life on Mars. But, truly... God's faithfulness makes up for what we lack. His generosity will far exceed ours any day of the week. He longs to bless us, to snuggle us, and to give us not just what we need, but things that will make our day.
Right now, I'm enjoying some of that coffee. Still a little in tears, and praying. Praying for blessings to overtake those ladies in ways they could never expect. Because that's who our Dad is.