All my life I feel like I’ve been living through seasons of “receiving serpents and stones”. I’ve done bad things and received consequences in return. I’ve messed up, and been punished. And because of this, I’ve begun to expect that every thing I ask God for will be met with a spiteful answer of “this isn’t right for you, but I’ll give it to you to teach you a lesson. You’ll learn not to ask Me for things like that again.”
Recently I have been going through a series at She Reads Truth called “The Attributes of God”, and one reading this week was about the difference between God’s greatness and His goodness. I read five different passages giving examples of both with a blog post/devotional at the end.
The devotional was structured to dig deep into how God’s goodness was about who He is and what He does. God doesn’t just do good, He is good!
When we hear the saying “God wants to give us all good things”, I feel like we view it as a pick-me-up and move on with our lives. However, when we take the time to sit down and really marvel about what that means, we start to see the value and power in those words.
Think about it: we, sinful beings, love to give good gifts to others. When people ask for something they need, we gladly offer it to them. Nonetheless, due to the fact that we aren’t perfect and holy, we also accidentally give bad gifts. We ask for stones and serpents and don’t even realize it, pushing us into a trap we never wanted to be in to begin with.
Friends, the amazing thing about the goodness of our God is He will never give us any bad thing. When we unwittingly ask for stones and serpents, He knows and says no. This is the real reason why “we don’t always get what we want”. Whatever gift the Lord gives us that we see as good, is something to bless us and further us in our future.
Sitting in bed this morning, this truth smacked me across the face so hard it brings tears to my eyes as I write. Looking around, I am surrounded by a beautiful house, a husband, and a practically unconditionally-loving fluff ball of a dog. For the longest time I have believed that God gave me all these things only because I had been asking for them for too long and He got annoyed with me so He just handed them over. He was tired of hearing me and wanted to teach me a lesson of not to annoy Him, so I finally received what I wanted.
PLEASE hear me out when I say this again: God will never give us bad gifts. He may teach us in the process, but nothing He gives us will ever, ever be a stone or a serpent.
We serve a Great God, and even better, a Good God. His love never fails, and as the writer of the devotional says, “He is never absent, disinterested, careless, ill-tempered, petty, spiteful, or mean. He is set apart from all evil and does what is right, faithful, kind, and true. Always.”
Take this with you this week and know that no matter what path you choose, your decisions are never above God’s plan. You can’t change what good things He has for you, and you can’t run from His love either.