GIMME

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

We see something we want; we 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. At least, that’s what I did.

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.

Nor was it 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 later in life 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, even though I acknowledge his desire for us is to do exactly 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 book of Joshua 15:13–19 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. She asked him for more because she needed more. In order for her to use the field, she needed water. Her request was both forthright and reasonable.

Achsah’s father had given her in marriage to her cousin, as was the custom of the day. 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!

However, her request was a legitimate one. She wanted more because she needed more. She needed a source of water in order to grow crops in the field he had given her.

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 for, but often, more than what I had asked of him. 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 to him. And having made my requests known, there is peace in my soul regardless of the answer. And many times, his answer is “exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think”. Those times are usually when I ask for more in order to enable me to more effectively serve others.

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 not only for the things that we need, but also the things 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 smites Kirjathsepher and takes it, to him I will give Achsah my daughter to be his wife.

17 And Othniel, the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took Kirjathsepher. As promised, Achsah’s father gave him Achsah, his daughter, to be his wife.

18 And it came to pass, she came to her husband and she moved him to ask her father for a field. Achsah dismounted from her donkey and Caleb said to her: What do you want?

So he gave her the upper springs, and also 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 her land needed water if she were to make use of it for crops or pasture. She was direct in both her request and her need when asked her father for springs of water. Her father 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. God wants a reciprocal relationship with us, and for me, that is what makes the story of Acsah so powerful!

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, on the home front, explaining to a greedy, determined two year old that she could not have her brother’s little blue truck was a formidable task! It was easier to get her a red truck of her own!

I am thankful that my parents were both wise and loving.

My brother was thankful as well!

His truck was safe.

For the time being…………! 🙂

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

ENDNOTE:

Achsah is the daughter of Caleb, according to the genealogy of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 2:49). She is given to Othniel, son of Kenaz, brother of Caleb, in exchange for his taking of Kiriath-sepher, identified as Debir in Judges, (Joshua 15:16-19). Her father asks her what she wants, so she tells him. Her request is a reasonable one, so her Dad responded by giving her both the upper and lower springs in the Negev, which was named Gulloth-mayim according to Judges (Judges 1:9-15). Like the Daughters of Zelophehad, Achsah succeeds in gaining some of her family’s land and water resources, which were normally not available to women in ancient Israel’s patrilineal system.

Many years ago Lily Green, a friend from my home town, wrote this lovely song:

BEFORE YOU ASK ME, I WILL ANSWER

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LILLY GREEN’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lilly+green

Thank you Lord, for your love, kindness and provision for all mankind!

END NOTE

Lillian Crozier’s family lived in the country just outside of the small town where I grew up in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

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 or Leah in years, but have followed them online and have the greatest respect and appreciation for their love of the Lord and His people, and all mankind.

Both of my friend’s parents were born again Christians and faithful servants of the Lord. They had other sisters and a brother who were either older or younger than me, so I didn’t know them well. But I did know the family and that was such a privilege and blessing, although I really didn’t know or understand that until much later in life!