I learned a lesson the other day; I’m amazed how God allows me to live through things to get a point across. As a father sometimes I get a glimpse of the relationship my Heavenly Father desires with me.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? ” —Luke 11:13 CSB
As a father I love my children and of course want the best for them. I want to help them succeed by discovering and developing the talents and abilities that God has given them. Unfortunately my teenage son hasn’t matured to point of realizing I’m not the enemy. I think my daughter is almost there; perhaps she believes it in her head but not fully in her heart.
My son has an incredible talent for art. His natural ability to create is amazing. About the time my son became school age I had an artist friend give him some art lessons. My friend was amazed how my son could naturally conceptualize and capture how things relate spacially. He said it is a difficult thing and gave an example of how hard it is to draw a human that convincingly stands on the ground. Such things weren’t even challenges to my son.
Perhaps with great talent comes great responsibility. My son is 19 and although gifted, he has yet to develop his talent. By contrast, my daughter, not as gifted of an artist, has produced some amazing art work through a lot of hard work.
In the midst of these lock downs of Covid 19, since he’s home from college, I’ve encouraged my son to develop his art skills. I routinely ask him if de drew something today, if he says, “No” I simply reply, “You’ve still got time.”
I found an art desk on OfferUp that would fit in my son’s room nicely. I purchased it and brought it to my work so he could tighten and replace some screws and relocate the drawers to the left side since he’s a lefty. When I asked him to come to my work, because I needed some help, he refused even though I told him it would only take about 30 minutes. I told him I really needed help and asked about the next day. He begrudgingly agreed. I told him I’d come home for lunch and pick him up. When lunch time came he wasn’t home.
I was disappointed and pondered how to handle this situation; I prayed. I really wanted my son to have this desk. I imagined how he would enjoy it. I wanted to support his pursuit of the gift God has given him. There was a distinct lack of thankfulness and gratefulness in my son that made me want to scrap the whole idea. I wasn’t going to give up however, I decided I would ask 5 times before selling it and then inform him of the missed blessing. That was really a hard decision to make and I hoped that we wouldn’t end up there but sometimes life lessons are a more valuable gift.
As all this was playing out I couldn’t help but draw a parallel with God’s gift of salvation. While pondering why my son was so resistant to receiving my gift I realized my relationship with Father God really isn’t that different. How may times has He invited me into His presence to bless me and I’ve refused? Why do I refuse; why did my son refuse my invitation? Perhaps my son refused my invitation because he doesn’t believe that I have his best interest at heart or he believed I was lying.
Do I believe God? Do I believe that God is good? Do I believe that He has my best interest at heart? Do I believe that God desires to bless me?
My natural response is, “Of course I do!” Is that truth? Deep down, no it’s not; there is a disconnect —my response doesn’t reflect my actions. The problem with such a lie is that it holds me in bondage and prevents me from receiving the blessings that God has for me.
I forfeit God’s blessings by ignoring His requests, just like my son, if he refuses my requests, he will forfeit the blessing that awaits him and was purchased specifically for him.
Lord, expose the lies that prevent me from seeing you as you truly are. Give me the grace to reject the lies that I’m holding onto and replace them with truth so I can experience the fullness of your love. Amen.