Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Afraid to Ask

"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; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NIV).

Have you ever noticed how much time and energy we spend discussing what this passage does not mean? And we’re always ready to answer the big question that might come up:

If this passage is true, why didn’t God give me what I asked for?

Well you didn’t ask in the right way.

There are some things you shouldn’t be asking for.

Perhaps God answered and you just didn’t recognize it.

Maybe God just hasn’t given it to you yet. You’re not ready for it. It’s not time.

God is going to give you something better than what you asked for.

Besides, you better be careful what you ask for, because you might get it.

All of these answers make me think of the fine print we use to get out of honoring a contract.

Some of us would rather figure out what we’re doing wrong than entertain the idea that Jesus made a promise he doesn’t keep. That kind of thinking gives us a tepid spirit.

Jesus made bold statements to inspire us to be bold, not timid. He likes the Peters and the Pauls of the kingdom—people who could be reckless at times, even make mistakes, but ended up doing big things because they weren’t afraid to ask, seek, and knock.

Why not ask the tough questions? Why not risk some disappointment or confusion? And why not get very specific in asking for what we want?

Are we afraid Jesus won’t keep his promises?

More later.


  1. Jesus has not kept any of his "promises" to me. For years, he has closed every window on my hands, slammed every door in my face to where I feel like Rocky Balboa in round 14, and ignored every request. I keep asking, seeking, and knocking until my knuckles are bloody. He knows where I am. I have no idea where he is. I've about had it with him. So I'm doing as you suggested, asking the difficult question, which is this: What do you say to people like me? You've already eliminated the stupid cliche answers, which I appreciate. But what's left?

  2. First, I'm so sorry about the pain you're feeling. And to some extent you have my sympathy, although as bad as I've felt in the past, it sounds like you've had it much worse.

    Second, you have my profound admiration. Anyone who hangs in there for years must have great resiliancy. Rocky Balboa is my favorite character, and like him, you must be very brave and enduring, although you may feel like neither at the moment.

    You have dared to ask the hard questions and you have faced the dark night of the soul.

    I do not have the answers that you seek from Jesus. I can reveal some of my story and maybe that can be a resource for you.

    But I need a day or two to write it down. If you will come back to this blog, I will try to have more for you to read. However, I make no guarantee that you will be satisfied.


  3. David, you'll notice I didn't ask for answers, and I noticed you didn't give me any. My question was, what do you say to people like me? (and there are many, many of us). Your understanding was more healing than any "answers." Most people provide neither, they just walk away. And that includes Jesus.

    Continuing the Balboa metaphor. I went into the ring to fight for HIM, and I paid a high price for it -- no complaints. I expected to shed some blood. I also expected him to be my manager, my "Mickey." But in the 9th round, just when the going got the roughest, I noticed that he was giving away my water bottles to the spectators, the fight promoters, and even to my opponent. He also took my sweat towel and used it to wipe up some beer spills. Then he apparently went home to catch some reruns of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." I've been fighting the last five rounds now, for him, drier than the Sahara, blood pouring out my nose, hands tied behind my back, getting my face pounded like a bobo doll by a well hydrated enemy I can't even see any more because long ago both my eyes swelled shut. But Mickey has left the building, my fans have decided I'm a loser and have gone home, and round 14 is nearly over.

    So. If Jesus Mickey Christ hasn't shown up by the beginning of round 15, I'm going to do what I probably should have done in round 11 - fire him, slit my own eyelids back open, take water where I can find it, wipe my blood on his kingly robe, untie these gloves designed to make it a fair fight, and fortify my fists with brass knuckles and two rolls of quarters. And by God, there will be a round 15, and as the recent movie title states, "there will be blood." But this time it won't be just mine.

    This is only a metaphor, remember. I'm not considering any form of physical violence, lest you or your readers get the wrong idea. To change the metaphor, if I'm still here for any reason at all, which I doubt, it is to stanch the bloodflow on the battlefield, not cause more of it. But I'm not going to take an unending number of head shots while tending to the wounded as a medic. I thought Jesus had my back.

    Thanks for being one of the only people to take my comments seriously, and for your understanding. I'll keep watching your blog. ---JeezFreaked---

  4. David, please pass on to JeezFreaked that I feel the pain also...I am just as confused as he/she is. I truly hope this person finds some peace really soon!!! I may be wrong and I PRAY TO GOD that I am but I took part of what was said as a "threat to commit suicide."