Matthew 7:7-12 New International Version (NIV)
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 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! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I’m really bad about asking for help. I don’t mind asking for advice or opinions– I can listen and take the advice or ignore it; accept someone else’s opinion or not. But asking for help puts a certain obligation to accept whatever help is given. It also announces that you have a need; that you are struggling and can’t do “it” on your own. This is especially true in situations where we are embarrassed to admit to shortcomings, inabilities, or perceived failures.
Asking is difficult for most of us. Not just because we must swallow our pride and admit to a need, but because we must hope that whoever we ask will be willing or able to meet that need. Asking becomes more difficult when we don’t know who we can trust. Admitting weakness to someone who is kind is a small risk–it may bruise our pride, or cause the other person to pity us. Asking for help from someone who is deceitful, arrogant, incompetent, or abusive is a recipe for disaster.
Sometimes, we are afraid to ask for help because we sense that there is no help to be given. We wallow in despair, thinking all is lost or hopeless. But fear and despair are not wise counselors–they cannot help us out of our problems; they can’t even see beyond the current chaos or the next panic. Sometimes, we are too proud to ask someone else to do what we feel we should be able to do– others can manage, others can triumph “on their own”– not realizing that they had help along the way, or that they need help in other areas where we are strong.
And sometimes, we don’t want the kind of “help” that is offered. We want help to stay in our comfort zone, even if it means bondage to addiction, or losing an opportunity that comes only with hard work or sacrifice. We want someone to lie to us, keep us comfortable, or flatter us, when our greatest need is someone to challenge us, coach us, and give us the truth, even when it stings. In fact, if we have grown lethargic, entitled, and arrogant, we won’t ask for help– we will demand a lesser form of help that enables us to stay as we are, and not help us become who we were meant to be.
So consider this as you pray today– the God of the Universe– creator of galaxies and microcosms, ruler of eternity, the God who hears every sigh of every human on the face of the planet and knows who made it and why, the God who gave His only Son to fulfill the law and restore your soul–this God is waiting for you to ASK Him for help, for guidance, for wisdom, for your daily needs, for forgiveness that only He can give completely. And He promises to give good gifts– joy, peace, hope, love. He will not scorn us in our need– He already knows it, Why are you waiting?