God Never Says, “Take a Number”
“I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications.” – Psalm 116:1
One of the greatest responsibilities a person can have is being a parent. It is a God-given responsibility that can bring great blessing along with great heartache. And many life lessons can be learned from the pages of parenthood. For instance, I have found it very interesting to watch my two children compete with each other to obtain one-on-one time with me. They both yearn to spend time quality time with dad, and they both earnestly seek my approval in whatever they do. It is important for me to have “daddy-daughter” time with Aubrey, and it is just as important for me to cultivate a good “father-son” relationship with Elijah. In some instances, I have seen an unbridled jealousy fill one of their hearts as he or she has observed their rival sibling spend quality time with me that they did not necessarily get to experience. In those moments, I am reminded of my limitations. I cannot be everywhere at the same time extending undivided attention to each of my children. But our heavenly Father can do so with all of His spiritual children.
Consider the ease that we as the children of God have in accessing God our Father. It is a direct and immediate access without limitations (I Peter 2:5). There is no need for competition among our brothers and sisters within the family of God. We have continual and complete access to our heavenly Father, even when our spiritual siblings are heaping a greater portion of personal requests upon the throne of God than we might be. Yet as they come to Him with their burdens and receive His undivided attention, we still have His undivided attention as well. He never becomes distracted or overwhelmed with one child’s requests over and above another. There is never a point when He gets bogged down tending to the heart of one child, only to overlook the heart of another child. Though an earthly Father can only focus upon His children’s needs one at a time, our great heavenly Father multitasks with without difficulty or struggle. He tenderly and meticulously cares for His children and does so simultaneously.
So there is no need for the sin of jealousy within the family of God, as if to be in some competition to buy time with our heavenly Father. Jacob was a poor example of a father because he placed the majority of his attention upon Joseph, neglecting the needs of his other sons. But that is certainly not the case of our heavenly Father as He continually demonstrates His omnipresence and omniscience to His children. There is no need for any form sibling rivalry; for our access to God the Father is an uninterrupted blessing without limits, and it is a wellspring of grace that every Child of God can draw from with equal sized buckets. This is not to suggest that each child receives the same quantity of blessing; for the Lord does so as He pleases (Psalm 135:6). Yet it does mean that multitudes of believers can cry out to their heavenly Father at the same time and still have an unwavering confidence that they will not have to wait in line to talk with their heavenly Father. God will never tell you to take a number.
In our passage above, David expresses his gratitude to God for personally listening to Him. He describes the Lord as the one who hears his voice and hears his requests. It is an expression of adoration and thanksgiving for God’s personal care for him. His psalm serves as a reminder to us all that God is not indifferent towards His children, nor does He stand at a distance. He is actively present and listening to our cries. And to think that He does so continually and simultaneously for all of His children! What a Father!
Take time out today and thank God the Father for His detailed, simultaneous, and sovereign care He extends to each and every believer. And thank Him that you do not have to jealously wrestle your spiritual siblings to gain His attention; for you already have it.