“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” Mt. 7:7
These words from Jesus always make me think of New York. In New York, if people wanted something they would ask. They spent no time considering your feelings, the impact of their words, or how you might respond. If they needed something from you, they would let you know. I enjoyed it. I didn’t have to spend time trying to figure out what people were trying to say.
When we moved back to Minnesota, the asking atmosphere changed. A neighbor once came over and complimented Peggy and I on the work we were doing in the yard. I was taken back by the warm hospitality. How nice that someone would go out of their way to compliment a neighbor? Then it dawned on me, she’s not here to talk about our yard. She has a question to ask. So I asked her, “What’s on your mind today?” Then she said, “Well, you know, your dog barks a lot when you’re gone.”
Our neighbors are wonderful people and we want to be good neighbors to them. It’s just funny how indirect the question was presented. In fact, if I had not asked what was on her mind, she would have thought me rude. I know the routine because I’ve heard it before. It goes something like this, “You know, he was very rude. He didn’t even ask me what was wrong.”
Last year, I interviewed a couple about an experience of trauma involving their son for the Ordinary Voices podcast. Their approach to prayer requests for their son via Facebook has remained with me. Each moment along the path to recovery, they would present a specific thing they wanted people to pray for in order to help. They were bold in asking, but their boldness invited people to join them along the way. No one was left having to ask, what do you need?
What do you need or want from Jesus? Have you asked? Or, are you waiting for Jesus to search your heart to find out what’s going on? If the dogs of grief, anxiety, fear, and anger are barking and disturbing your soul, ask Jesus to keep them quiet. Name these disturbances and do not be shy. Don’t be afraid to invite others into your prayer concerns. Then the God of peace will open your heart to receive the healing you desire.
Click to read: Matthew 7: 7-12