Read Luke 11
Focus on verse 9-10
Be careful what you ask for – you might get it!
It has been a few years ago now, but I remember it well because it left an impression on me that I dare not forget. We had made arrangements with a young college student who needed assistance with room and board that if she would watch our children a few times a week, we would provide her with a room and any meals she needed. It was a win, win arrangement that resulted in an ongoing friendship.
Shortly after she moved into our spare room, it became obvious that she was going to need to replace her aging car, so we suggested she do what we did when we had a legitimate need that looked to us like it would be beyond our means; we ask God to provide it to us somehow.
She took our advice, and a few days later she was presented with a nearly new bicycle by a friend, which surprised her in two ways. The first was that God apparently had answered her request for a new mode of transportation. Her second observation was that she apparently should have been a little more specific in her request. It was only a short while later – after she amended her request from “reliable form of transportation” to “a reliable and preferably efficient car” – that another family for whom she worked as a nanny, arranged to give he a small reliable and efficient car.
In today’s reading Jesus teaches about God’s desire to provide for those who trust Him.
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and your will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (v. 9-10)
Jesus continues after this by comparing God’s provision for us to that of a loving father whose desire is to bless his children when they ask for good things.
My experience would seem to indicate that God, like an earthly father, also sometimes blesses and protects us by denying our request, because He knows we would harm others and/or ourselves if He granted it. There are also times when God grants these questionable requests to give us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. Sometimes the most loving thing God can do for us is to say “no”, but I have a pretty good hunch that both He, and we, enjoy it more when we ask for the kinds of things to which He can say “yes”.