Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
“Fatherhood must be the core of the universe”, wrote C.S. Lewis, about what George MacDonald learned about God from his father. Lewis goes on to say, about MacDonald, that, “he never, as boy or man, asked him for anything without getting what he asked. Doubtless this tells us as much about the son’s character as the father’s…” MacDonald wrote, “He who seeks the Father more than anything He can give, is likely to have what he asks, for he is not likely to ask amiss.” Lewis goes on, “The theological maxim is rooted in the experiences of the author’s childhood.” (George MacDonald. An Anthology (edited by C.S.Lewis))
Father is a giver. God loves to give us gifts.
Even in the negative things that happen to us, we can see that God is doing something good.
We have to close off our hearts not to see the gifts of God in our lives. We have to deceive ourselves.
How much deception is brought upon ourselves through our refusal to thank God? There is so much to thank God for and yet we get tricked into discontent and then begin to impunge God’s character.
We can be disappointed with life and with God, without corrupting God’s character and becoming deceived.
God is good and God gives good gifts.
God is the giver. We become givers as we learn from God. God is generous and we become generous as we learn from God.
The world’s focus is on getting and even taking. But God teaches us to live as givers, living in generosity. When you give, you are like God.
God is completely content. And generous giving makes you content. Instead of your stuff or money having a hold on you, you end up getting closer to God, when you give it away.
God is clear about his love for you. We become deceived and have to guard against it. God says, “I have always loved you.”
More words from George MacDonald:
For the real good of every gift is essential first, that the giver be in the gift-as God always is, for He is love-and next, that the receiver know and receive the giver in the gift. Every gift of God is but a harbinger of His greatest and only sufficing gift-that of Himself. No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best: therefore many things that God would gladly give us, things even that we need because we are, must wait until we ask for them, that we may know whence they come: when in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things.
We must ask that we may receive: but that we should receive what we ask in respect of our lower needs, is not God’s end in making us pray, for He could give us everything without that: to bring His child to his knee, God withholds that man may ask.
-“The Word of Jesus on Prayer”
Perhaps, indeed, the better the gift we pray for, the more time is necessary for its arrival. To give us the spiritual gift we desire, God may have to begin far back in our spirit, in regions unknown to us, and do much work that we can be aware of only in the results; for our consciousness is to the extent of our being but as the flame of the volcano to the world-gulf whence it issues; in the gulf of our unknown being God works behind our consciousness. With His holy influence, with His own presence (the one thing for which most earnestly we cry) He may be approaching our consciousness from behind, coming forward through regions of our darkness into our light, long before we begin to be aware that He is answering our request-has answered it, and is visiting His child.
Even such as ask amiss may sometimes have their prayers answered. The Father will never give the child a stone that asks for bread; but I am not sure that He will never give the child a stone that asks for a stone. If the Father says, “My child, that is a stone; it is no bread,” and the child answer, “I am sure it is bread; I want it,” may it not be well that he should try his “bread”?
The heart of man cannot hoard. His brain or his hand may gather into its box and hoard, but the moment the thing has passed into the box, the heart has lost it and is hungry again. If a man would have, it is the Giver he must have; . .. Therefore all that He makes must be free to come and go through the heart of His child; he can enjoy it only as it passes, can enjoy only its life, its soul, its vision, its meaning, not itself.
“O God!” I cried and that was all. But what are the prayers of the whole universe more than expansion of that one cry? It is not what God can give us, but God that we want.
I think thy answers make me what I am.
Like weary waves thought follows upon thought,
But the still depth beneath is all thine own,
And there thou mov’st in paths to us unknown.
Out of strange strife thy peace is strangely wrought;
If the lion in us pray-thou answerest the lamb.
George MacDonald, An Anthology; free, on-line version