Gimme

It starts early in life. Just a few short weeks or months after we are born.

We see something we want; we reach out our little hands to grab it.

Never mind if it is in the hands of another. Never mind if it’s just beyond our reach. Never mind if it’s something that is not good for us. We want it. We grab it.

And if you were like me, if I didn’t get it, I screeched my head off until I did. Or until my poor mother was able to direct my attention elsewhere.

One of the first words I learned was ‘Gimme.’ Followed closely by ‘Me want dat’ or the shrill shriek ‘Miiiiiiiine!’

Being a determined, venturesome and demanding child, Gimme! was one of the best exercised words in my vocabulary.

However, I quickly discovered that saying ‘Gimme’ was NOT polite.

It was also not a good way to get what I wanted.

Manipulation, trickery, flattery, sneakiness and a plethora of other tactics, including begging, worked so much better. I’m glad I was not my parents!

It came, therefore, as a great surprise to me to see that the word ‘Gimme’ is in fact, a word approved by God.

In its polite form, that is, which is ‘Give Me.’

The Lord’s prayer teaches us to say: Give us (me) this day our (my) daily bread. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of difficulty talking to God like that.

We are also instructed to say things like Lead Me, Deliver Me and Forgive Me.

Demanding things and telling God what to do for me seems so arrogant and presumptuous, somehow.

I’m much more comfortable saying things like: If it be your will dear Lord; or Heavenly Father, in your kindness and mercy I humbly bring this request before You.

Pious, polite, falsely-humble words spoken to soften my request and persuade the Lord to ‘gimme’ exactly what I want, exactly when I want it.

That is why the story of Achsah as recorded in the old Testament, startled me.

Achsah simply asked her father for what she wanted. Directly, precisely and without demanding or beating around the bush.

Achsah’s father had given her in marriage to her cousin, as was the custom of the day, and he also gave her a dowry, which was a field.

But Achsah was not satisfied.

So she went to her Dad and said: Gimme more. I also want springs of water.

However, being polite, she worded her request: Give me also…

I don’t know what you think, but to me, that seemed awfully brazen of her. Her father had given her a valuable gift, yet she wanted more!

Many times I asked my Dad for things as I was growing up, and even afterwards. Many times my Dad gave me not only what I asked, but often, more than what I asked. Other times he said no, or not now, or you earn it yourself.

It has been said that God has only 3 answers to prayer.
Yes, No and Maybe.

That is not true.

God’s answers are Yes, No or Wait.

Implicit in each of God’s answers are the words “Trust Me!”

The ‘Gimme’ part is not the most important part of prayer. It is the ‘coming’ and the ‘asking’ that matters.

Because when we come, we draw close to God in fellowship, faith and trust. And when we ask, we enter into a reciprocal relationship with our Holy and Mighty God and Father.

What an unspeakable privilege!

I know that when I draw close to God in prayer to petition him with my wants and needs, no matter what the request, the coming and asking is what draws me closer the Lord. And, having made my requests known, there is always peace in my soul, regardless of the answer. And many times, His answer is “exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think”.

Unlike our earthly fathers, whose resources may be limited in what they can provide for us — and that includes materially, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually – our heavenly father’s resources are unlimited.

We are encouraged to come to Him and ask that for not only the things that we need, but also the things that we want.

I still find that hard to do. But I’m learning.

God’s graciousness, abundance and mercy meets every request that I bring to Him in prayer.

For that I am truly thankful.

Here is the story of Acsah.

She is a constant source of inspiration to me!

16 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.

17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.

18 And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?

19 Acsah answered: Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs. (Scripture reference:Joshua 15:13–19. Date: About 1400 B.C.)

Acsah was making a legitimate request of her father. She knew the land needed water if she was to make use of it for crops or pasture. She was direct in both her request and her need and when asked her father for springs of water, he immediately perceived her need and gave her what she asked of him.

Our Heavenly Father is wise. He knows what we need before we even think of coming to him to ask him to fulfil that need. It pleases him when we do come to him and ask.

For those of us who had caring parents, we were blessed. And if those parents belonged to the Lord’s family, as mine did, we were doubly blessed.

However, explaining to a greedy, determined two year old that she could not have her brother’s little blue truck was an awesome task! It was easier to get her a red one of her own, and more so since we had a lovely, large sandbox in our back yard to play in.

I am thankful that my parents were both wise and loving. (My brother and my doll were thankful too!)

Therein is just one of the joys of answered prayer. The one who asks is blessed. And others are blessed as well!

This beautiful song entitled ‘Before You Ask Me’ was written by a high school friend of mine way back the 1970’s (which seems like yesterday…!). Lillian’s family lived in the country just outside of the town I grew up and I knew Lillian and her sister Leah, who both had a great influence on me, perhaps not so much during our high school years, but certainly after we all left home and started life as young adults. I haven’t seen Lillian in years, but have followed her online and have the greatest respect for both her talent her her love of the Lord.