And You will Receive
Let’s pick up from where we left off last week. We looked at many scriptures that tell us to ask God, to present our requests before him. And the most astounding part about this? He answers us. God… GOD answers us.
Some time ago I had a need that I prayed about-a lot. I don’t even know how many times I asked God to remove me, to give me strength, and to change my heart. I thought at some point He had to be annoyed that it was the same request over and over and over, the same prayer day in and day out, year in and year out. But nope. I cannot find anywhere in Scripture where God is annoyed by His children asking him for anything. He heard me. Man, did He hear me. And He answered. This is a little long, but take a minute to read Psalm 18:
“I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
That is how I felt that God answered me. I can relate to David with the feeling that “from his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the mountains shook…He parted the heavens and came down…He reached down from on high and took hold of me.”
Yes. That is my God.
You may be one reading this thinking how great this would be if it were your story. You may be wondering why God gives you a “No” most of the time. We have all been there. I do not always receive a “Yes” either. But I have found that the “No’s” are where I have grown the most or have been protected the most. I can see countless circumstances that God sheltered me and rescued me before I even entered a situation that I would need rescuing from. The “No’s” have turned out to be some of my greatest blessings.
You know, there are also those times that we just flat don’t understand, and may never understand, this side of heaven. That is where faith and trust enter the picture. We may never have answers, and dare I say, there is beauty in that as well. We can never go wrong with trusting God, even when we cannot see the reason…especially when we cannot see the reason.
Can I share one more thing I have learned? This is much easier said than done. When God does answer it is time to stop asking. If you are praying for wisdom about a situation and He answers, providing a hard solution, it is time to stop praying and start acting. Wise choices may be hard but they are not complicated. So when He answers, it is time to act!
In a simplified view, this is my conclusion: ask. Expect answers. Be thankful for the “Yes”. Be humble with the “No”. Live in the beauty of the mystery of not having all the answers.
And live in the beauty of serving a God who can do more than we ask or imagine.
Live in the beauty of immeasurably more.