“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.”
Matthew 7: 7-8
Last week I had the pleasure of watching a really cute romantic comedy with Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd called “How Do You Know”. I won’t give away the plot to anyone (although aren’t all romantic comedies basically the same plotline?) I’ll just say that Reese’s character visits a therapist during part of the movie and while she is too proud to sit and talk about her problems with him she does ask him if there is anything in his experience that would be good advice to someone in ANY situation. His response is, “Figure out what you want, and learn how to ask for it.” Reese’s character pretty much says that both of those things are really hard to do.
There was a time in my life when asking for things came very naturally to me. When I first reached the walking, talking, and whining age, I had a squeaky little voice and… well… the same haircut I have now actually. I probably batted my eyelashes and squealed “puhhhllleeeassseeeeee” a lot more than I do now. (Okay, maybe I still do this on occasion but it worked a lot better back then.) My parents and grandparents weren’t suckers by any means, but I’m telling you… I was ADORABLE… and I got what I wanted at least 75% of the time. It was very rare that anyone said “no” to sweet little Sarah. The point is, I saw something I wanted and I asked for it. I bargained for it, I begged for it… and the result was that I got what I wanted most of the time. Now there were definitely some exceptions to this rule. I begged my parents for a trampoline and a slip ‘n slide for YEARS… and I was turned down every single time. Their darling little brat wanted these things and would turn on the waterworks and throw herself to the ground kicking and screaming when she didn’t get her way… but my safety and well-being were more important to them than giving in to my every whim. They were looking out for what was in my best interest. Even if they had to deal with my ridiculous accusations ranging from “it isn’t fair” to “you have ruined my entire life and I will never ever be happy again”. I didn’t stop asking them for things that I wanted though. Sometimes they would ask me to explain why it was I wanted something so bad, or ask me to think about it for a while and decide if it was what I really wanted, but they would always listen to my requests and consider them.
I have been waiting to find out what God’s plan for my life is for a long time now. Every time someone asks me what I want to do, I redirect them and tell them that I’m trying to figure out what I’m MEANT to do. I have had this conversation numerous times in length and detail and have ended up completely frustrated and utterly exhausted by how difficult this task is… waiting for God to get on the loudspeaker and assign me a station in life. I have a friend that is a great listener and is incredibly patient (and has heard some form of this conversation at least 20 times in the past month) who always reminds me:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Every. Single. Time. I get all upset and screechy about this subject he reminds me that God WANTS me to have what I want the most in my heart. So instead of sitting in the middle of the floor pouting while I wait for God to announce my purpose, I need to do some introspection and figure out what I want… and then I need to ask for it, which I have said before is not something that comes easily to me now that I’m all “grown-up”.
I mentioned in my last post briefly that I’m very careful what I ask God for in prayer. I tend to get my lines blurred when it comes to prayer sometimes and I am afraid that if I ask for something like, “please let this day be short” that I will inevitably be hit by a train and killed mid-day because, well.. I DID ask for the day to be short… so technically I got what I asked for. Fear has taught me to be a very specific person and that has caused me to either pray very vaguely for my life in general, or pray specifically to the last detail about a certain situation that’s on my mind. I think this is one of the unhealthiest fears that a person can develop; the idea that God is waiting to twist your words and requests and that you need to be guarded and “be careful what you wish for…” I think this is something very sneaky that Satan threw at me at some point in my life in order to stand in the middle of that open line of communication between me and God. I just have to constantly remember that God is my Father and He always has my best interest at heart. I KNOW that, it is just easy to get flustered and start worrying about “what if I ask for the wrong thing?!” or “what if I don’t get exactly what I asked for when I asked for it?!”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3: 5-6
When you remember that God is on your side and that He knows what you need, He knows your true desires and He wants to give you the joy of realizing them and using them to glorify Him… well, it doesn’t really seem all that hard to figure out what you want… and ask for it after all.