When I was a teenager I tested my limits. C’mon, you can’t tell me you didn’t do the same. It was kinda fun getting in trouble a bit after being a Little Miss Goody Two Shoes for most of my childhood. (Maybe my parents would not say that I was all that angelic, but I at least felt like I was.) Minor infractions and mischief were all I let myself get away with. A lie here, a broken curfew there, a nasty face with a matching attitude thrown in to spice it up and the once in a life time food throwing incident are pretty much all that show up on my record.
I bring all this up because I remember one rebellious scuffle I had with my mom pertinent to today’s topic.
The nest becoming uncomfortable I was making choices to just go and do my own thing without letting anyone know what I was up to. Having a car at my disposal had gone to my head. One day my mother sat me down. She began to explain to me that she wanted me to ask before I just took off somewhere. Her reasons were valid and laid out very calmly. She explained that I was the oldest. They needed help getting the younger ones form here to there. They were concerned for me and needed to know where I was in case something happened. This is all before every kid from 4 years old on up had a cell phone. They also wanted to know where I was so they could get a hold of me if they needed to.
Her words were muffled. My head was hot and stuck on the word: ask. Ask? As if I had to have permission? Puh-leeze! She said her piece and then I let ‘er rip. Why did I have to have permission? Didn’t you trust me? What, am I a little kid or something? (I was a kid still. What was I thinking?) After I had it out she said something that has stuck with me, “It is not that we want to say no to you. You know that if there is not a good reason to say no then we will always say yes. We are a family, and family members are considerate of one another.”
Somehow that made it click. I can’t remember how the conversation ended. I probably should have apologized. I probably didn’t. Sorry, mom! I do know that when it was over I took myself to my room and pulled out some 3×5 cards. In clear letters on about a dozen of those cards I wrote one word: ASK. Then I got some of that gooey stuff that was holding up the posters all over my walls and I began to post the cards around my room. One in my closet. One on my dresser. One on my mirror. And so forth. They all reminded me of my mom’s gentle plea to ask.
This only works in English. Have you ever noticed the progression in this verse?
Ask, and it shall be given unto you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
It’s a TWA (three word acronym)! We have: LOL, BRB, TMI, and BFF. Now we have: ASK, as well.
As we go about with our lives how often do we stop to do these things? Why the distance between us and God? Could it be that we have an adolescent attitude when it comes to our relationship with our Heavenly Father? Might we fear that he does not ‘trust us’? Might we find some kind of pleasure in getting away with things?
It could be that God is waiting for us to come to Him, not because he wants to shoot us down and laugh at us. Rather, He wants to give us the go ahead after we receive His wisdom, His way and His empowerment.
We ask and He says, “Yes,” when it is in our best interest. Then He shows us the best way to be successful at what we are about to endeavor. (Jeremiah 33:3, Joshua 1:8, Proverbs 16:3)
We seek Him and He allows Himself to be found. His way is made clear to us. We are set on a path dripping with goodness. (Psalm 65:11, Psalm 25, Isaiah 30:21)
We knock at His door and we find a treasure trove of goodness and mercy. He enables us to win. He gives us the means by which we might be blessed to be a blessing. (Psalm 23:6, Ephesians 1:3, 2 Peter 1:2-4)
That is God’s nature. He is not out to get us. He is not looking to clip our wings so that we cannot fly. He wants us to soar on the wings of His freedom. What are we waiting for?
It is an issue of trust, humility and love. Do we really trust God? Are we humble enough to follow His path? Do we really believe that He loves us?
God, for today, I want to learn how to ask. Help me to trust you. I know you want the best for me. Help me to take a breath and find out what you think about what is going on in my life. I don’t want to just run off like a hot headed teenager. I really do want you involved in every bit if my life. Would you please help me, today, Lord? Amen.