Good Gifts

I'm sure the neighbors heard my oldest daughter jumping up and down and screaming on Christmas morning. Unbeknownst to this Santa, the other Santa in our house purchased and placed a tablet computer beneath the tree. If you remember this post, you'll know how much my daughter wanted a tablet for Christmas. I had told her not to be disappointed when there wasn't one under the tree. So, imagine both her and my surprise when we opened the last present under the tree, addressed to everyone, and found a tablet.

It's always fun when our wishes get fulfilled. We react with joy and enthusiasm. We're excited, and we feel special.

God sometimes surprises us with the unexpected. Like my daughter, we ask for something, but we don't think we'll receive it. When we do, we act surprised that God could and would give us what we asked for.

We really shouldn't be surprised, though, when God provides what we need or want. God wants us to have an abundant life. He wants our lives to be filled with the joy of knowing that He can and does provide. God isn't Santa Claus. He doesn't simply give us everything our little brains can dream up. He provides what we need and gives us what's best for us. But He hears our requests, and He loves to give us what we need.

Matthew 7:9-11 says "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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!" God wants us to ask Him for what we want. He wants to give us good gifts. And we shouldn't be surprised when He gives them to us.

Help your kids understand that God wants to give us good gifts. The next time your kids ask for something small, surprise them by giving it to them. Talk about how getting that gift made them feel. Explain that we can ask God for the things that we need -- from good grades at school to healing an illness to guidance in a decision. When we ask God for something, we should be prepared for Him to answer our request. Talk with your kids about how God never leaves a request unanswered. Even when He says no, God still answers. Talk with your kids about how God loves to give us good gifts. Share Matthew 7:9-11 with your kids. Sometimes those gifts come in a different form than we expect, but God always gives us good things.

The next time you or your kids ask God for something, don't be surprised when He answers.