Which Entrée? The Fish or the Snake?
Jesus said, “Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Parent in heaven give good things to those who ask!” – Matthew 7:9-11 (NRSV)
First off, I would never ask for a fish or a snake. I have a bit of a phobia of both. To me, fish are as creepy as snakes are to many people. I can’t eat them, I won’t go to an aquarium to see them, and nobody brings a goldfish home in a baggie to my house. It’s a fish-free zone.
So I am having trouble imagining myself asking for a fish at all, let alone being disappointed if someone gave me a snake instead. To me, it’s all the same. Icky.
But in the time of Jesus, in fishing communities, getting a fish would be a good thing for a child. And Jesus explains that even the meanest person wouldn’t hand a little kid a snake instead. So wouldn’t God be at least that good?
Jesus wants us to ask God for exactly what we want. It is here that he says, “Ask and you will receive.” So on that note, I want to ask God to keep me far away from both fish and snakes.
The point is that nothing is too ridiculous to ask God for. It’s not that everything we ask for makes sense. It’s just that God loves us well enough to want to know us, even with our foolish phobias.
Let this be the day when I really tell you what the desire of my heart is, loving God. Hear the prayer that comes from me, just as I am. Amen.