“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.”
Ask and it will be given to you. . . . Really?
I have TMJ. Have had it for a long time. Last year I was also diagnosed with severe arthritis in my jaw. It was recommended that I get a special mouth guard to attempt to delay any further degeneration of the joint. Unfortunately, the cost was almost $2,000, and it wasn’t covered under insurance. So, we paid it. Thankfully the device helped.
Several months later I got the idea to ask the insurance company to pay for it even though I had already been told it wasn’t covered. I sent in the forms with the doctor’s explanation of why it was needed—I wasn’t even sure I sent them to the correct place. To my delight, less than a month later I received a check for two-thirds the cost of the device! If I hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have gotten the help. I asked, and I received.
This is good, right? But life certainly doesn't always work this easily. In my life there have been tragic deaths, broken relationships, and situations that caused deep hurt and struggle. I asked and asked and asked. Yet the solutions didn’t come.
I believe these verses. But I don’t think they are meant as an equation.
I think it is important for me to consider what I’m asking for. Sometimes I am too focused on my immediate needs or wants. I have learned to transfer what I think I need to feelings.
Instead of saying, “God get me out of debt,” I have considered: “I am worried about my debt. Please teach me contentment, self-control, and give me wisdom.”
Instead of, “I want more friends, more fellowship,” I have prayed: “I get lonely. Help me to focus on you God—allowing you to fill me—and on the relationships I do have. Help me to be a better wife, mother, sister, friend.”
I used to dream of living outside of California. But I felt God reminding me how He brought us here and has richly provided for us in many ways. I have learned to pray: “Lord, help me to embrace this gift you have given us. Help me to focus on contentment with what I have. To make this home because it is where we are.”
One last difficult thing. I have learned that sometimes, when praying and asking, the answer comes by way of strength for the waiting period. When situations are complex and difficult, sometimes the immediate answer comes as a miracle that the situation has not destroyed me on the inside while I wait.
It can be hard to ask for help—to hope for help or change. Some of the most important words for me to say are, “I need help.” And here Jesus urges us to . . . ASK.