Becoming a father has helped me begin to understand the heart of my heavenly father. As a father of three children, a deep desire began growing in my heart on Christmas mornings and on my children’s birthdays: I wanted to give them a gift that would wow them when they opened it. I hoped for an excited response like: “Wow! Is this for me? It’s exactly what I wanted!” Slowly, I began believing that if my own earthly heart truly wanted to give my children their heart’s desire, then surely my heavenly father wanted even more to do the same for his children.
When I reflect on what goes on in my heart when one of my kids opens a birthday gift, I see clearly something in my heart that wants to give my child his or her heart’s desire. As I connected the source of my feelings as a daddy to the heart of my heavenly Father, I began to believe the truth of Matthew 7:11. Our heavenly Father is the one who desires to “give good gifts to those who ask him.” David exhorts, “Praise the Lord, O my soul . . . who satisfies your desires with good things” (Ps 103:1, 5). Certainly we can have selfish motives. James says “when you ask, you don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives . . .” (James 4:3). Undoubtedly God is not going to give us something that will ultimately hurt or spoil us, but this basic desire—of a father wanting to give his child that child’s greatest desire—comes directly from the father heart of God!
One memorable Christmas, when my daughter Sammy was a young girl, the generosity of a friend allowed my wife and me to give her the present that was her heart’s desire—a horse. We put Sammy in the back seat of our car and blindfolded her, then drove her through the country to one of our neighbors’ barns. I will never forget the look on Sammy’s face when we took the blindfold off to reveal her new horse. She was speechless for a couple minutes, something that had never happened before. But her face was saying I can’t believe it. This is exactly what I wanted!
If you have children or grandchildren, think for a moment about how much you love them and how much you enjoy giving them a gift that makes them say “wow!” Now can you take those feelings you have for your own children or grandchildren and transfer them in your heart to how God feels about you? He is the ultimate loving father who delights in giving his kids the true desires of their heart.
Reflections: Do you believe God desires to give you good gifts? If not, ask the Lord to directly share with your heart how much he loves you and how much he wants to give you the true desires of your heart.
“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!”