As I’m writing this we are just over a week from my youngest daughter’s wedding. This is my second go around on the emotional rollercoaster that comes when a daddy allows another man to take his place as the superhero in his daughter’s heart. I promise you, it’s not any easier just because I’ve had experience.
While my eyes may water a bit as I turn loose of my baby, from allergies not because I’m crying of course, I’m reminded of one of the greatest lessons on faith that God has ever taught me. This lesson has stuck with me through many tests of my trust in the father and it came from my daughters.
When my girls were young, in the 6 and 4 year range, one of the greatest joys in their life was going to Target. This love of a department store was not birthed by the fantastic savings on everyday items that allows young families to live on a budget. In fact the store was not even referred to by its proper name in our household; it was simply known as the Icee Store. In my daughter’s minds the only reason to go to Target was to get one of the frozen treats.
On a near daily basis my wife and I were asked by our two munchkins if we could go to the Icee Store. While everyday was out of the question, a couple of times a week would usually happen. When the answer was, “Yes, we can go,” the prettiest little girls in the world (I’m biased) would grab each other’s hands and with wide grins and squeals of delight begin to hop around in a circle. Over time I began to refer to this enchanting scene as the Icee Dance.
One morning as I was preparing to leave for work I was told how much I was loved and with big hugs and kisses came the question, “Daddy, can we go to the Icee Store today?” I looked into four big blues eyes and assured them that when I got home that night we would go. Cue the dance. After joining in on a few hops I told them goodbye I headed to the office.
Upon my arrival home I was greeted at the door by my daughters. I may have forgotten the promised trip to the store but they surely had not and they were quick to remind me. After dinner we loaded up the minivan and headed off for sweet frozen bliss.
The Lord used these trips to the Icee Store to teach me a lesson about faith. My daughters delighted in the promise of the Icee before they ever had it in their hands. There is something about real faith that causes us to worship our God in joy before we ever see the answer to our prayers. It’s called trust. Our Heavenly Father is trustworthy and faithful to His promises.
The Lord pointed out to me that even though my daughters had to wait all day for the promised trip to the store, they didn’t one time call me up and ask if we were still going or if I really meant what I said. Why? They were confident in the promise of their father.
I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Luke 18:17 New Living Translation
I’ve often heard and have even in my own preaching used this verse to encourage people to have “childlike faith”. My young daughters believed because they trusted. They had experience that strengthened their faith in my words. They didn’t have to hold the Icee to know that the Icee was theirs. They were confident that what Dad said would happen, would happen even if we had to stop at another store first or they had to wait all day or forbid the thought, they may have to wait till tomorrow on the next day. They sometimes weren’t pleased with the timing but they still knew that they were going to get that Icee.
This lesson of trust in the Father has followed my daughters as they have grown up. I’ve watched them hold onto God for big things and He’s never disappointed them. As my youngest is fond of pointing out, God answers her prayers because “He loves to spoil me!” What a great attitude to have. God doesn’t answer our prayers based on our worthiness, or our achievements, He answers because He loves His kids.
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him…
Matthew 7:11 New Living Translation
Let this verse sink in and then start your Icee Dance. The promise is on its way because your Father loves to spoil you.