I am a teenager, perhaps sixteen or seventeen and it is Christmas. My father is going to give me money with which to go Christmas shopping, but he has a twist on the request. I must write on a slip of paper how much I am requesting. He writes on his own slip how much he is willing to give me. The twist is that he will only give me what is on my slip of paper, regardless of what is on his, only I don't know that at first.
I only remember once my father did this to me. Once was enough. I recall feeling a dilemma about what to put on my paper. I didn't want to ask for too much, but I wanted to ask for enough to buy all the presents I wanted to buy for my parents, grandparents and siblings. Oh, and my friends, too.
I thought about it for a while and finally wrote down my number. He had written his down immediately. I handed him my slip of paper, he looked at it, nodded his head and said, "I'll give you that much."
Then unfolding his own piece of paper, he said, "Now see how much I was willing to give you." His amount was much, much more than the amount I had written down. I knew my father well enough to know that no amount of pouting, cajoling or begging would result in the additional cash being removed from his wallet, so I didn't even try. I learned a valuable lesson that day about my father, one that eventually transferred to my Heavenly Father.
My father was willing to give me so much more than I thought he was. . .he was willing to give me more than I was willing to ask for. I underestimated his desire to please me and to meet my needs. Isn't that true of what we often believe of our Heavenly Father as well? I heard a preacher say once, "God desires to answer our prayers more than we desire to ask them."
So many times in my life this has been true. I have been unwilling, unbelieving perhaps, or maybe just afraid of being presumptuous - as I was with my earthly father that afternoon -- to ask for the really "big" things, to ask for those answers to prayers that we really desire. . .but our prayers are His delight and He wants to answer all our prayers that are in accordance with His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus.
So let us approach our Heavenly Father with the assurance that it is His "good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
"Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."