Queen Esther took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She besought the Lord God of Israel in these words:
‘My Lord, our King, the only one,
come to my help, for I am alone
and have no helper but you
and am about to take my life in my hands.
‘I have been taught from my earliest years, in the bosom of my family,
that you, Lord, chose
Israel out of all the nations
and our ancestors out of all the people of old times
to be your heritage for ever;
and that you have treated them as you promised.
‘Remember, Lord; reveal yourself
in the time of our distress.
‘As for me, give me courage,
King of gods and master of all power.
Put persuasive words into my mouth
when I face the lion;
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
‘As for ourselves, save us by your hand,
and come to my help, for I am alone
and have no one but you, Lord.’
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. Is there a man among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.’
“Come to my help, for I am alone and have no one but you, Lord”
My 9-year-old son had been asking for a smart phone for the longest time. The fact that his (younger) cousin had received a high-end smartphone for Christmas two years ago didn’t help him feel any better.
As parents, we would like to provide the best for our children, both materially and spiritually. My wife and I knew that giving him a smart phone would not help him, but instead hinder him.
So it is with God. When I first heard this part of the Sermon on the Mount, I had flashes of God giving us a “blank cheque” to go get whatever we want; God would provide! But as we study and observe human nature, we realize that the more material things we get, the more we want. First we want a flat, then a condominium, then a bigger private property, then a landed property… well, you get the idea. We crave for more and more things. To see this in action, get your family together and tell them to pretend that they have S$5 million and ask them what they would buy with that. Write this down. When that is done, tell them that there was a mistake; that the amount was actually S$100 million. Ask them how that would change the list.
In the gospel passage, the Lord asks what human parents would do. He asks if one would give his child a snake if he were asking for bread? And a further point for reflection, what if your young child was asking for a snake, not knowing what dangers the snake brings? Would you hurry out to get a snake for your child? Coming back to the story of my son, we ultimately did give him a smartphone, but had to take it back after a while as it was affecting his attention and focus. Our parental instincts were right!
Brothers and Sisters, let us remember that only God knows best. He knows what is good for us, and the timing in which to provide. If we do not receive what we ask for, it does not mean that the prayer has gone unanswered; it could simply mean a “No” or a “Not Yet”.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer – Father God, we pray that we may always have faith in Your wisdom and love. Help us Father to have trust and be accepting of whatever You give us.
Thanksgiving – Thank you for always providing us with what we need, rather than what we want. Thank you Father God for being there for us always and for covering us with Your precious love.