Yes, you do trust God–somewhat. The somewhat that is common sense to you. The somewhat that is comfortable to you. You trust God enough to keep you out of hell at the end of your life. As for the rest of your life, there are parts you like to stay in control of still. But you don’t ever say it like that. You use more churchy words so others don’t know you want to keep control of some of the outcome of your life. Or maybe you don’t even tell yourself this truth. Your churchy words and churchy behavior are numbing behaviors to keep you from your pain and to keep you in control of the outcome.
This is going to be a vulnerable read. You’ve been warned. Read further if you wish.
This comes from Matthew 7:7-11 – “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
To ask, seek, and knock is to put yourself in a vulnerable position. And really, you would rather not. Right? Things are okay enough right now. And you do pray. You do ask, seek, and knock. Do you realize that you are only asking for safe things?
So we don’t ever really ask, seek, or knock even though scripture promises that if we do we will receive, find, and have an opening. We don’t do this because deep down we don’t trust God.
For whatever reason you have, you keep your distance—stay out of vulnerability–because you believe the lie that God has let you down.
Maybe you prayed and prayed and someone died.
Maybe your prayers were never answered.
Maybe you have father issues and can’t trust a father figure.
Maybe you’ve been hurt by a church or someone in the church and you’ve transposed that hurt onto God.
Maybe you feel shame for a current sin or a past sin.
I have a current teen in my life who believes prayer is like that wheel on Wheel of Fortune. To pray you spin that wheel. But her wheel has 7/8 of it with a “no” and only one spot for a yes. Does that feel like prayer for you?
Whatever the reason, the real reason why you don’t ask, seek, or knock is because you don’t trust God. (You can say this and admit this to yourself and I know lightning will not strike you.)
Which is why, I believe, Jesus included this analogy immediately after these instructions. He talks about how a parent is going to give his/her child something good when the child asks. I don’t know if you are a parent or not, but this is no-brainer parent behavior. If you are not a parent yet, I’m sure you imagine that you would give good things to your child in the future, especially when he/she asks. Even if you are a parent who has to use tough love for a season (and that is love!), you still desire to give your child good things (such as tough love). This is a no-brainer. It resonates deep into our being that this is what love begets.
For Jesus to use this analogy directly after this teaching it is like he is saying, “Do you get it?! I know you have trust issues with God but really, it’s like what you would do for your own child. You do it. Trust God to do it.” Because a parent knows that child is worthy of love and belonging. Because God knows you are worthy of love and belonging.
Can you trust God to do it?
That question probably tugs at that uncomfortableness that vulnerability brings. This is a vulnerable question. It feels. It feels a lie which is deeply a part of you—
but that lie is being called out.
Can you trust God to do it—now that this lie is out in the open?
Vulnerability is really a position of strength. Vulnerability is you are capable of being wounded because you are worthy enough to be out there. You are worthy enough for God to answer your prayers. You are worthy enough to receive. You are worthy enough to find. You are worthy enough to have that door opened for you. You are worthy of every good gift God has for you.
You are worthy of the good gift God has for you.
Keep that thought rolling around in your brain for a long while. This is a good one to ponder on.