(5 minute read)
Last year when I got my puppy, my world was crumbling around me, but time with her was a blissful reprieve. She threw up in the car? No big deal. Whining at 2:00am? Doesn’t matter. The inconveniences that came with training her were inconsequential in the “honeymoon days,” and the novelty of giving her treats was even more fun than imagined. Sometimes I gave them to her just because I wanted to, but most of the time, I used them as a reward for her obedience. Only one circumstance stopped me from giving them to her.
The first time it happened was three days after I got her. She bounded out the front door down the steps into the dead, yellow grass. I followed her with a handful of her favorite peanut-butter treats, planning to work on “sit” in a new environment. Expecting her tail to instantly hit the ground, I gave her the “sit” sign that had worked flawlessly inside, ready to praise her for doing such a good job and watch her enjoy her treat. But all she did when I gave the command was roll around in a pile of crumpled leaves. I put the treat right in front of her nose, said her name, and clicked my tongue to get her attention, but my distracted pup wouldn’t even look at me.
I really wanted to give her a treat – that was my plan all along – but, unable to justify rewarding her for actively disobeying me, I put them in my pocket for another time when she’d “appreciate” them more.
I had never pictured God being excited to give me something until I had that experience with my puppy that day. Have you ever wondered if He’s watching you, eagerly waiting to give you something good that you’ll benefit from, and even enjoy? I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t always my first instinct. I used to believe God was begrudgingly giving me the things I needed. But that’s not the reality according to scripture. If we read Isaiah 30:18-19, we see that God actually DOES want to bless us:
And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment (H4941 a verdict, a sentence, justice, right, privilege): blessed are all they that wait for him…he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
This scripture shows that God is anticipating blessing us; in fact, Jesus tells us that He longs to be gracious to us even more than a loving dad longs to be gracious to his child (Matthew 7:7-11). He “takes pleasure in His people” (Psalm 149:4), and His heart towards us is good.
You may be wondering, “What does that verse mean He’s waiting on, though?” I’ll tackle this in my next post “Receiving in God’s Timing,” but for now, I’m wondering: What is your view of God like? Do you believe He’s looking on you with love, wanting the best for you, or do you think He’s watching & waiting for you to mess up, withholding good things from you?
No matter how we see God, the reality of who He is — patient and kind, the Giver of every good gift (James 1:17), longing to be gracious to us — hasn’t changed. When we struggle to believe an aspect of His character, let’s approach Him boldly (Hebrews 4:16) and ask what could be causing this unbelief, being certain that He’s happy to answer us (James 1:5-6).
And as you go, remember that God is for you (Romans 8:31), and He has loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). May you receive the truth of His word — and anything else He has in store for you — in faith today!
*I’d be glad to send you this image as a lock screen — just let me know in the comments 🙂