My female standard poodle asked for a rawhide chew. Actually, she demanded one. Cosette is quite persistent when she wants a chew. I told her to wait. She waited for two minutes. Then she pawed and gnawed at the container again.
Max, the male, came in and saw her finishing her chew. Instead of asking me for a chew, he whimpered at her. From the next room, I said, “Ask me, not Cosette.”
My words spoke to me. I wonder how often I’ve whined hoping others would supply what only God can provide. What would happen if I asked God for those things instead of throwing out hints to others?
Jesus makes an astounding promise: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8).
What could be simpler than to ask? What do you long for? What are your worried about? Have you asked God for it or about it? I’ve often experienced immediate relief when I’ve simply asked.
If you’re like me, a nagging question darkens bright hope. Is it really that simple? Haven’t I prayed for things I didn’t receive? Good things, unselfish prayers. So what does Jesus mean, “everyone who asks receives”?
Jesus relates our heavenly Father’s care with that of a human father. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11).
There are exceptions, but most daddies want good things for their children. They are also better judges than their children on whether something is beneficial or harmful. They know some temporary pleasures cause permanent pain. Can you think of some things you would not allow your child, no matter how much he begged?
When our son Brant was four, he believed he could leap off of tall buildings. My “no” to his dangerous requests was actually a “yes” to Brant’s deeper desire to live a happy, active life. Our children can’t see the consequences of their requests. But we can. So can God.
Some no’s mean not now. A year feels like a lifetime to a six-year-old. A lifetime feels like an eternity to us. God wants our long-term happiness, and He knows how to provide it.
When you’ve asked and there seems to be no answer, ask for understanding. Could the answer to this request keep me from receiving my deepest desires? Or is this something for which, like Cosette, I need to keep asking?
Sometimes, I need God to help me identify my deepest longings. The bread I crave now may dull my appetite for His heavenly feast.
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Application: What request is my heavenly Father waiting to answer for me?
About the Author:
Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson speaks and writes to help others discover relevant faith. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break.She and her husband, Larry, founded Lighthouse Ministries in 1991. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog at www.DebbieWwilson.com