Written by Susan Stedman
Matthew 6:8b, “…for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask.”
I grew up with an earthly father who was neither here nor there. We rarely knew where he was, so he was not a very good example when I started to learn about my Heavenly Father. Donnie didn’t know very much about me either, about the things I liked, the things I didn’t like, who my friends were, or how I did in school. You get the picture. The one thing he always knew was what scared me. That was pretty much the extent of our relationship. He got a kick out of scaring me, my sister, my cousins, and any friend that might have been around at the time.
About six years ago, I reconnected with an old friend on Facebook who had known me in elementary school. We were tickled to find each other and catch up, but the very first thing she said was, “I remember that slumber party where your dad told us scary stories all night! I didn’t sleep for a week!”
So, yeah, fear was his game. I guess it gave him a feeling of power somehow. Then we have my heavenly Father, whom I call “Daddy” sometimes. This is why…
Several years ago, my family and my sister’s family helped my grandmother move into a new house. We worked all day packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking and left for the hour-and-a-half drive home well after dark. We were all exhausted and stopped at a little restaurant for dinner. On the way out, the kids noticed a gumball machine that was filled with tiny rubber ducks and duck tattoos. We obviously weren’t thinking straight by that time because my husband started pumping quarters in trying to win all four of the over-eighteen “kids” a rubber duck. However, after nearly $10 in quarters, they all had handfuls of tattoos and no rubber ducks.
I was the last one out and I had fifty cents left, so I just felt like trying my luck. I even said a prayer for some reason. “God, I really want a duck.” I put the money in, turned the handle, and a tiny, yellow-spotted duck fell into my hand. I was elated and ran outside showing off my duck.
It didn’t occur to me till the next morning that I had probably been silly and irresponsible to pray to God for a rubber duck. I apologized to Him and told Him that I didn’t mean it in any bad way. I don’t know why I even did it. I was so used to praying constantly that I guess I just did it out of habit.
While I was praying that morning, I understood that God was not upset with me. He asked me if I knew why He did that. I had no guess.
“Because I want you to know that I am not like your earthly father. When you ask something of me, I will not let you down. I want you to know that you can trust me to give you good things.” I started to cry because I could feel those words even more than I could hear them. The situation taught me to make sure what I prayed for was worthwhile and not frivolous. I still have my “Duck of Grace”. It sits in my basket beside my bed. He will be seven years old this year.
And that brings me back around to my favorite verse in the Bible. “He knows what I need before I ask Him.” He knew I needed to have a better example than Donnie because it would cement my trust like nothing else. He has not failed me yet. It did take me some time to trust His judgment over my wants, but with age comes wisdom, supposedly. I have gotten much better at saying, “I trust you to know what is best for me.” With that comes the peace that passes all understanding.
Written by Donna Butler
Let us go to His dwelling place; let us worship at His footstool! Arise, O Lord, and go to Your resting place, You and the ark of You might. Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy!
Have you ever lost your joy? What got you threw you off? And, how do you plan to get it back?
That’s a lot to think about!
Psalm 132 gives us the answer that is repeated throughout God’s word.
First step, we must go to His dwelling place and worship at His footstool. As simple as that sounds, it is sometimes difficult to do. When we feel lost or discouraged, worshiping is not our initial response. But, in order for God to do His part, we must do ours. Yes, God can do anything... Which includes giving us free-will! So, we must be open and truthful with Him. John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and the people who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” You may come yelling and screaming, sobbing, whispering, or just telling God how angry, disappointed, frustrated, or hurt you truly are with Him…but that’s the truth. He hears our heart, whatever state we are in, we must let down any façade or pretense. “…A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). As we go into His resting place (in prayer), He promises to give us rest (Matthew 11: 28-30)
Have you ever tried to dress a child that doesn’t want to be dressed? This is another reason that we must surrender. As we humble ourselves, God takes the next step. He begins the process of clothing us in His righteousness. In royalty, or “Bend the knee” if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you are awarded privileges and special rights when you submit to the authority. When the king speaks over you, everyone knows that you have been identified in kinship with royalty by a crown, robe, or emblem. Psalm 132 declares that we are clothed with His righteousness. We no longer march in a self-declared righteousness, which is useless in spiritual battle. But, the enemy now sees the royal banner and we can shout with JOY! We have protection and the reinforcements of the royal army!
God has never left you or forgotten you. He is waiting, longing for you to come to His resting place. He wants to help you take off all those heavy burdens, the should haves, would haves, and want to’s, and give you a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Dear God, I need You! I have lost my joy and my peace. Help me to remember that You, O Lord, have an unlimited supply! Help me to put down my pride, anger, and unforgiveness to receive all that You have for me. I’m only as far away as a prayer. Thank You for never giving up on me!
About Rays of Light:
Whereas most blogs are from one writer, these posts are from a variety of authors and styles. These scribes all attend our Kingdom Writers group. We pray our passion to share God's love through writing will encourage you today!
Our writers group meets every 4th Tuesday Night at 7PM in person and/or via zoom. Let us know if you would like to join us.