WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9TH
A TIME OF INSTRUCTION
As we come to Jesus for our time of Wednesday instruction, our mentor revisits a familiar teaching, but one we will never tire of hearing. We lean closer, hoping to hear it anew…
Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the 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 Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 NRSV)
What an incredible instruction this is. We have already received abundant blessings from God, and now Jesus is instructing us to ask, search, and knock for more. What would you like to ask for today? What are you searching for? Where would you like a door to open? Spend some quiet time with Jesus as you ponder these questions.
So often I hesitate to ask God for my own specific requests, because my prayers feel greedy (I have already been given so much), unnecessary (God knows our inmost being), short-sighted (God’s perfect will is better than my requests), or – dare I admit this? – futile (when fervent prayers don’t bring desired outcomes). My prayers then can become fairly generic, as I limit my requests and ask for such things as basic guidance, God’s will to be done, or “our daily bread”. And honestly, that seems to be more than enough.
But in this passage, Jesus instructs us to ask. He encourages us to search. He assures us to go ahead and knock. He shows us that God wants to hear our prayers, our deepest longings, our dreams, our hopes. Jesus also knows that when we articulate our deepest desires through prayer, we not only open ourselves to a greater inner awareness, but we then discover how often God does move and work in our lives.
Jesus goes on to say that God knows best how to bless us. We can pray freely and imperfectly, trusting that God will sift through our requests and give us what is GOOD. In this we find another good gift – the gift of deeper faith – as we see how our requests were answered in even greater ways than we could imagine.
When we ask, search, and knock, we will receive, find, and be answered – always with the generous, loving presence of God.