When our oldest daughter and her family recently sold their tiny little bungalow in the city and moved into a large fully restored farmhouse the desire for a puppy was rekindled in our two youngest granddaughters. Now that they had a bigger house, they had more room for a new addition to their family, was our granddaughters' rationalization. Since their old pug dog had died a few years back our seven year old granddaughter had frequently reminded her mama that "a kid needs a pet"!
Last Sunday evening, my daughter and her husband surprised the girls with a new goldendoodle puppy. Unknown to the girls, their mama and daddy had been researching and planning this surprise gift for quite some time. The girls were stunned when their daddy walked into the house with the puppy, at first wondering if it was real and for quite some time afterwards repeatedly asking if she was really theirs.
This experience with seeing my granddaughters longing for a puppy finally realized, reminded me of how God gives us the desires of our hearts. Like our son-in-law and daughter, He doesn't always do it when or how we think He should. Right now is always our preferred timing, but God knows that a good gift given at the wrong time can turn out to not be the best thing. Being good parents, my daughter and son-in-law wanted my granddaughters to be old enough to take some responsibility in the care of the puppy.
My daughter and son-in-law also spent time researching what type of dog they thought would be the best fit for their family and lifestyle. Sometimes we think we know what God should give us, we think we know best. But, because God is all-knowing, He knows far better than we do not only about the right timing for our answers to prayer, but exactly what the perfect answer is for us. Proverbs 10:22 says that God wants to give us blessing with no sorrow attached to it. A gift that turns out to be more trouble than it's worth isn't really a blessing, is it?
In Matthew 7 Jesus says that our Father God is a good Father who wants to give us good gifts. He says that if a son asked his earthly father for bread, no good earthly father would give him a stone, or if he asks for some fish, no good earthly father would give him a snake instead. In other words, no good earthly father would intentionally give their child something disappointing, a stone, or something harmful, a poisonous snake. Our perfect Heavenly Father is even better at parenting than we are. When we bring to Him the desires of our heart we can get weary waiting for the answer. But, we have to trust that He knows the perfect timing, and that when He does answer, it will be what is best for us. He will only give us things that are beneficial to us, not things that are disappointing or harmful. God is better than the best earthly parent. He is a good Father Who wants to surprise us with good gifts.