There was a perfectly good grocery store not 10 minutes from our house stocked full of ripe, nicely cooled, ready-to-eat strawberries. Even so, she would somehow get my dad, me, and my three brothers into the family car where we would drive 30 minutes down the road so we could get sunburned while picking strawberries.
Our instructions were to fill a couple boxes of strawberries, pay the man in the tent for the berries we picked with the money mom gave us, and then meet back at the car. We were 10 minutes into one of our family picking sessions when I noticed my dad was walking back to the car. I couldn’t believe he had already filled his boxes so I walked over to the car. There he was in the front seat, fully reclined, eyes closed, soaking up the air conditioner while soft music played over the radio.
I stood sweating at the car window. Finally dad opened his eyes and looking a bit surprised, rolled down the window and said, “Hello, son. Are you done already, too?” I showed him my half-filled-box. I noticed his two boxes of strawberries were full and already in saran wrap. “You work fast,” I said with a skeptical look.
“It’s all in the technique,” he said with a bit of bravado. “I’ve been picking strawberries with your mother a long time and I’ve got it down.” I just stood there as beads of sweat ran down my cheeks. “Tell you what,” he said looking around cautiously while pulling out his wallet, “I’ll share my secret technique with you. But first, take this extra dollar along with the money your mom gave you and pay that man in the tent for two full boxes of strawberries. I’ll wait here in the car.”
ne of my favorite passages of Scripture is from the Sermon on the Mount: “You parents–if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him?” (Matthew 7: 9–11).
We sinful people love to give gifts to our kids (and grandkids). Sometimes it’s as simple as giving your son an extra dollar so he can “pick” strawberries while sitting in an air-conditioned car. Other times it may be helping pay the mortgage during a tough financial stretch (yes, our parents helped us that way more than once) or the best gift of all: just being there.
Jesus said if the very best “human dad” is able to give good gifts, just consider “how much more” our Heavenly Father can and wants to give good gifts to his children. It is an awesome thought and a powerful picture of the incomparable majesty, goodness, and care of God.
Naturally, we love to give good gifts to our LOGOI “children” as well. The Bible resources we give them not only help them grow in their relationship with Christ, but help them proclaim the Good News to their local communities. Almost all our gifts to them are free–which we can do because of you and the gifts you give freely to God through LOGOI. It’s a great partnership.
I enjoyed many more family outings “picking” strawberries with my dad. He just laughed when I got back to the car with my paid for strawberries and asked him to share his secret technique. I eventually got it. We enjoyed many more strawberry “picking” sessions together as we waited in the cool of the car while mom hand picked her strawberries. I had a sneaky suspicion she knew all about our “picking” technique, but never let on. After all, I was with my dad. And those days were sweet—which had nothing to do with the strawberries.