The Good Gifts of the Good Father
June 16, 2019
Approximately 80 years ago, the Germans started bombing England in what was known as the Blitz. Over the course of eight months, the Germans dropped 30,000 tons of bombs on Britain, more than half of them on London. While many had nowhere to go to escape the Blitz, some 5000 residents of east London made the caves of Chislehurst their temporary homes. The caves were actually a disused chalk mine with 22 miles of tunnels, 100 feet underground. The caves were outfitted with electric lights, running water, and an air ventilation system. Eventually a fully functional hospital would be set up in the caves along with a chapel, movie theater, barber shop, and three canteens that served tea. The caves would open each evening at 7:00 and empty 12 hours later at 7:00 a.m. Families would set up in niches along the tunnels and visit with other families before mandatory curfew at 10:30 p.m. At the height of their usage, a total of 15,000 people would spend their overnights in those caves.
An American journalist wrote about the scene in October, 1940: “In little niches decorated as rooms, they [families] put up beds with spring mattresses, light their portable stoves and cook the evening meal.…Afterwards the dishes are stacked, the wife knits; the father reads the newspaper and the children play in the street.”
In their crisis of war, these people (wisely) made their way underground. As I read that story this week, I thought about us and where we seek our protection. When you have a problem, where do you go for help? Where do you find safety? Where do you seek comfort? Where do you look for hope?
You know the answer I’m seeking: Jesus. As my kids used to tell me, “Jesus is the answer to everything, Dad.” That’s true. But we often don’t actually live that way. There are many places that we seek refuge, help, and safety besides God. We seek it in many ways — even ways that are opposites:
- food and exercise
- relationships and hermit-living
- marriage and singleness
- consumerism and austerity
- self-indulgence and self-denial
- entertainment and work
- busyness and quiet solitude
What is your place of refuge? Where do you find help and hope when you have problems? Where do you go for help when you have to engage in difficult spiritual tasks like confronting sin? Where do you seek provision for your most basic physical needs? Where do you seek help for dealing with complex relationships? When you are weary and burdened, what is your comfort?
In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 7:7-11), our Savior reminds us of the essential of prayer as a refuge in our trouble. When we have needs — any kind of need — we must go to the Lord in prayer. But especially when we have spiritual needs, we must repeatedly, doggedly go to God with our petitions. And He will always answer and give us what is good and best. And He will do that because He is our heavenly Father.
God answers every prayer by giving what is good, because He is the good Father.
Why should we seek God in prayer and as our refuge? We should seek God for two reasons:
- The Command: Go to God (vv. 7-8)
- The Promise: God will Provide (vv. 9-11)
Download the rest of this sermon on Matthew 7:7-11.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.