As a child I picked up the idea that it was best to be hesitant to ask for things. Instead, giving was the seen as the ideal, and being able to anticipate the needs of others (without them asking) and to respond appropriately was seen as an ultimate virtue.
Naturally I applied my hesitancy about asking to my beginning relationship with God as well, thinking that it was better to thank and praise God than to ask God for what I thought I needed.
Years later i realised how much I like to be asked for help or for things I might be able to provide. I liked that someone would be willing to ask me for something.
There’s an attractive humility there, and even an affirmation that I am seen as willing to help and generous Then I realised that if I like to be asked, then perhaps God likes to be asked as well?
The answer is YES – God does like to be asked and here’s the proof:
“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to them. Mt 7
I like the way that asking God is not a guarantee that we will get exactly what we ask for. God is not a fairy godmother, granting three wishes no questions asked.
Instead God responds as a loving parent, not simply giving the child everything but at times holding out so that a greater blessing can be bestowed and received.
The simple act of asking awakens my capacity to receive, and focusses my hope.
And I also like the way that the three words ask, seek and knock spell ASK – that doesn’t happen with these words in other languages which surely is proof that God likes working in English.
In the midst of a road trip, here in the USA, to see relatives, and other friends, we haven’t seen in months/years, due to COVID, your writings have been a great source of encouragement…thank you!!!
Yes, what comes to mind is the song “Knock three times….”
God inviting me / us to knock…
And the answer is never ‘No’!
Wonderful as always Father, thank you.
Jokes as well as inspiration – something I forget that will be provided by God.
Thanks you as always John !
I could not have said it better if I tried
What an encouraging reminder to ask for help rather than “stew” and get bogged down!
Your words came at a good time! Thank you.
Brilliantly simple yet sometimes I make my life with God so complicated
The word JOY
ASK is great too
Thanks Fr John
A warming message with a good laugh to finish! And some great comments to follow. Thanks John and friends of FFF.
Interesting that this is the scripture that you are reflecting on. This scripture went through my mind this morning after telling a child to look for their hairbrush and being told they couldn’t find it. But as always when I looked it was in clear and present sight. It’s a child thing, or is it? The words seek and you will find came to mind, like asking for what we need, is it actually looking when we seek and answer from God at what is staring us in the face.
Have I understood correctly that asking the child to look for the hair brush would differ from telling?
When learning how to teach a child how to cross the road I read in the instructions written for adults that children’s eye sight is markedly different from adults. I mustn’t assume that what the child sees is the same as me. I know too from personal experience that some eyesight conditions are irrepairable. What I see possibly differs from most adults my age and younger. Comments that assume what another can see I find interesting at times. “You’re slow!” for example.
Schools used to offer eyesight checks around the age of six.
Loved that – “proof that God likes working in English” – that gave me a smile and a chuckle.
A.S.K. is A.O.K with me!
Thank you Father. A simple and clear message.