A Loving Father
This past weekend, my son was playing with a toy, and on this toy there is a small button that sometimes gets jammed. He was playing at my feet and I could tell from the struggling noises he was making that this button had once again jammed.
“Do you need help?” I asked.
“No, I can do it.”
This is often the mantra of my four-year-old. He tried a little longer but the frustration was growing.
“Do you need help?”
There was no doubt that he was determined, and I am proud that he wanted to keep trying by himself, but still the frustration at the problem and his inability to overcome it was mounting.
“Do you need help, son?”
“Okay, let me have it.”
While he admitted and accepted that he needed the help, he still did not hand the problem over to me. He continued to struggle.
“Let me have it, son, so I can help you.”
“Okay,” he surrendered.
He handed me the toy, I unstuck the button, and he went back to playing and having a good time. It wasn’t for another two days that it struck me how many times I have had this exact same interaction with my heavenly Father.
Firstly, we know that God is a loving father.
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:13)
Jesus taught us how much love God has for us in that He sent Jesus to die so that we may live. And we know that God is always ready and willing to help us.
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)
Jesus taught us about these gifts God gives and used earthly fathers as an example.
“‘You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.’” (Luke 11:11-13)
If I can notice that my son is getting frustrated and needs my help before he is willing to ask for it, how much more does God know when we need help? I’m sure He knows when we are getting frustrated before we even realize it. And I believe He is asking, just as I asked my son, “Do you need help?” Jesus’ own words suggest this.
“‘…your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!’” (Matthew 6:8)
But we oftentimes say, “No,” because we think we can handle it. We’re not willing to give the problem over to the Lord. I’ve seen this firsthand in accountability groups: men not willing to give up their sinful habit. They would admit verbally that they needed help, just as my son did, but they wouldn’t hand the problem over to the Lord.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
We have nothing to fear because we have a God who has overcome this world (John 16:33) and He is a loving father who desires to help his children; we simply need to tell him, “Yes, we need help,” and we need to surrender our problem over to Him.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.