Never stop learning. One way to learn is to be curious. Don’t skip over words if you don’t know what they mean. Due to a violent storm in the Quad Cities area, I saw a word new to me: “derecho.” I did what curious people do – I googled the word to learn the origin of the word. According to Wikipedia, “Derecho comes from the Spanish word in adjective form for “straight” (or “direct”), in contrast with a tornado which is a “twisted” wind.”
Our son lives in Hampton, Illinois, so he and his family were in the path of the derecho storm. They were one of 111,546 Quad-Citians without power this past Monday afternoon. Food was spoiling. iPhones batteries were dying. But given the fact that the winds were clocked at 86 MPH (138 KPH) it is nice that the many trees around their home are still standing. They just are missing leaves and some branches.
Phone Call for Help
Everyone had the same idea when they lost power. “Let’s go buy a generator.” Home Depot and Menards and other suppliers were quickly sold out of generators. That didn’t stop the resourceful and the desperate. Our wise son decided to call mom and dad to see if they could find a generator in Madison. Would we refuse? No, even a less-than-perfect father and mother seek to help their son or daughter when there is a need. He wants a fish, so we look for a fish. He wants an egg, so we look for an egg. He wants a generator, so that defines our search.
We started by checking the local Madison Home Depot and Menards close to our home. Both were without generators. They sold out a couple of hours before we checked. We then checked a local hardware store. Sold out. About 30 minutes north east of us, in Sun Prairie, there is another Menards. We drove there and found several generators to choose from and bought the one our son said was the size he wanted and the price he was willing to pay. My goodness it is a heavy piece of equipment. Two strapping young men from Menards lifted it, just barely, into the back of our Ford Escape.
Delivering the Goods
The next step was to drive to Kieler, Wisconsin. That is about half-way between Madison and where our son lives. We met him at Casey’s convenience store. The generator was transferred from the Escape to Matt’s minivan (I doubted that I could lift my end of the 218 pound (99 KG) monster, but God gave me momentary strength to do so.)
Why Did I Write This?
My purpose was not to make you think well of me. Yes, Cindie and I did the right thing. We showed concern for our son, his wife, and our two Quad Cities granddaughters. But that is just a basic part of being a parent. You do what you can do to help a child, even if they are grown and independent.
Imagine if my son had asked for a generator and we went to Menards and bought him plastic pink flamingos. That would be silly. It would be worse if that is what he saw when we opened the lift gate on the Escape. He needed a generator, and good parents deliver the thing that is needed. The good news is that if we can provide a solution to a pressing earthly problem, imagine what God can and does provide for all of our needs. That is the heart of this communication to you. God is a Father who delights in meeting needs.
Good News Meets Our Greatest Need
Luke’s account of good news (the Gospel) records something Jesus said about asking God for good things.
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:9-13 ESV
The Father and Philippi
Philippians 4:19 records Paul’s reminder to that early church. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” God is rich. He isn’t limited in power or by physical distance. He sees the needs and supplies them. In the end, he should receive both the thanks and the glory.
The Father During Covid-19
It is likely various needs are coming to your attention during this time of rampant disease and hardship. Perhaps you are facing sickness and hardship yourself. God is able and willing to meet your needs. But don’t miss your greatest need in the search for solutions for health and finances. You can only really go to the Father if he is your Father.
Jesus offended the religious leaders of his day by telling them they were of their father, the devil. The works they were doing were the works of their father. He told them this because they were rejecting him. They saw themselves as children of Abraham. Jesus saw them as they were: devil’s children. In John 8:42, “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.”
The Father’s Mercy
I don’t deserve to be a son of God. As a sinner, I deserve the promised death. But God the Father, rich in mercy, sent Jesus the Son to die in my place and bear my sins. He was the Just one who died that I might be made just in the Father’s eyes. Good fathers give good gifts and are merciful towards their children. God the Father is even more bountiful and generous and wants to give you good gifts. The best gift is the first gift you need: His Son Jesus.