It hasn't been that long since I made the connection between God as Father and my earthly father, my Daddy. Since that revelation, I always open my prayers with "Father" because the thought is so comforting to me. That Sunday, the sermon was on the passage about which of you would give a snake to your child if he/she asked for a fish. (Luke 11:11-13) I thought of my earthly father, of how he has always selflessly given to me in a hundred different ways.
When I was little, he went to Hardee's on his lunch break and bought a stuffed Donald Duck that he then chased me around the house with as he spoke in Donald speak to elicit giggles. When I asked for a basketball goal or a bicycle for Christmas, he gave me both. After proving that I was going to stick with playing the trumpet, he bought me the best silver trumpet he could find. When I needed a soft case to carry it around, he bought leather instead of vinyl. When my car had problems in high school, he loaned me his brand new shiny red pick up while he drove my clunker Monte Carlo. When I asked for a five to go to the movies, he always gave me a twenty. When he told me to pick out a car my sophomore year of college, I picked out a Volkswagon; he picked out a Mustang.
I know I don't know all of the ways in which my heavenly Father has done the same thing. I can think of little things like the day I was struggling to write my ten pages. I prayed for the strength to write those ten pages; God gave me fifteen. I have sheepishly prayed for a parking spot in a certain garage because I was running late; God gave me three. I have prayed for a car to last an extra year and managed to get a second out of it. I prayed to find a good man for a husband; God gave me the best man for a husband--someone beyond my wildest expectations.
I do know that it's hard to see how God works in our lives sometimes. I started keeping a prayer journal a few Lenten seasons ago. Reading it a year or two after the fact has shown me a glimpse of how God gives generously even when we can't see it at the time. My challenge to everyone would be to keep a little informal journal of the things that worry you; check it a few months or a year later to see how God has given you even more than you asked for.