Snakes and Scorpions
Many years ago, a friend of mine posted a picture on social media of her toddler holding feminine hygiene products and calling it cheese. To be fair, the yellow wrapping, shape, and size had a lot in common with a slice of American cheese, but the similarities end there.
This week I've been meditating on the Lord's prayer and reading the verses that surround it in both Matthew and Luke. Following the Lord's prayer in Luke, Jesus tells his disciples to ask, knock, and seek. By pursuing God, we find what we're looking for.
In our world, it's easy to use those verses to paint prayer as a vending machine. I put in the right words, and I receive what I asked for.
But that's not what He meant.
He goes on to say:
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?13 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
After more than three decades of studying the Bible and reading that prayer, I got it. Jesus doesn't mean we should consider it cruel if He doesn't give us what we seek or even if He offers us the opposite of what we ask for. We may think we're asking for fish or an egg, but we've been tricked into believing what we desire is something it's not.
My friend's toddler thought her mother quite cruel to not allow her to eat the "cheese" she'd found in the bathroom, but her mother knew that what her beloved child wanted was not what she had in her hand.
I do not understand God's ways. I've questioned more than I should have over the last year. At the same time, I know I serve a good God who wants to give me the best He has. I'm learning to ask, seek, and knock according to His will and not what I think I want.
As you learn this week's memory verse, meditate on it. Ask God to reveal what you've been asking for or seeking that isn't what it seems. Ask Him to show you the truth.
Below are images for both your phone's wallpaper and one you can share on social media.