Learning last night about the “God of so much more” challenged my small brain to grasp the magnanimity of God’s exaggerated greatness, abundance, and big-ness!
In the gospel story where Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, He answered them with what we now know as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “Our Father”. He then shared a parable of a persistent friend knocking at a friend’s house at night for food. And because of such persistence–and not for the sake of friendship–the friend conceded. The lesson was “Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)
My impression of the above story was that as a Christian, I should come boldly before the Lord and ask, seek, and knock–persistently as I can–and for sure my desires would be given. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:10) So oftentimes, I find myself telling God of my requests and reminding Him of those that remain unanswered.
Yet reading the following passages revealed a truth beyond what I thought I knew. Not that there’s anything wrong with asking, seeking, and knocking per se. But I realized that those aren’t the main point. Luke 11:11-13 states, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more with your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who asks Him!”
Jesus, in his very interesting way of communicating, was actually making a contrast, not a comparison! He wasn’t comparing God to the reluctant friend who gave because of annoyance nor to the father who would naturally give what the son asked for. He was contrasting them!
Jesus depicts God as a willing and generous heavenly Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children–not necessarily what they asked for, but surely what is best for them. In “The Lord’s Prayer”, Jesus said to tell God, “give us day by day our daily bread”, erasing the need to run to God late at night knocking for bread, because He would provide our daily needs. Jesus also said that our heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit, and we know that “…for we do not know what we ought to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)
The realization that God is indeed so much more than I thought He was (gives when asked and what I asked for) is shaking my brain until now. It’s confusing. Yet it’s so liberating! This God of so much more knows so much more, will give so much more, will let me know so much more what I really need…it’s beyond even asking, seeking, and knocking!
I am reminded of one of my favorite children’s illustrated book Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram. Little Nutbrown Hare wants very much to make sure Big Nutbrown Hare knows how much he loves him by asking, “guess how much I love you?” He stretched his arms as wide as they could go and told his dad how much he loves him. And when Big Nutbrown Hare did the same thing, Little Nutbrown Hare realized that his dad’s arms were way wider. Little Nutbrown Hare went on to exemplify his love…”I love you as high as I can hop!” “I love you right up to the moon!” Only to be assured that his dad can hop way higher, and as he lays asleep, Big Nutbrown Hare whispers, “I love you right up to the moon–and back.”
We have a God of so much more.