There is something to be said about asking. When we ask for something, we put ourselves in a vulnerable place, because the answer to the request may be a “No.” The aftermath of that answer may send us to a whirlwind of disappointment and hurt, and at the next occasion, we may ask a little more timidly or refrain from it altogether.
It is a fearful thing to ask. But asking is also the key that unlocks an entirely exciting reality that we may never experience otherwise.
The cool thing about asking is that we may actually get what we ask for.
To the Christian, the fear of asking presents a big problem in the spiritual journey. God tells His followers to ask Him for things. “Ask, and you will receive,” He said. But the simplicity of that statement is problematic to the modern, skeptical, and cynical person. Is He really going to give me what I ask for? Even after we fulfill the “requirements” of answered prayers, like being aligned with God’s specific promise, having a pure motive, being thankful, asking for a good thing, etc., we still doubt if perhaps, maybe, possibly God is too busy for our tiny little requests (humility? Or distrust?). If we ask too much, it will be impossible for God to answer it.
Well, the fear of asking will get in the way of intimacy. How can we be close to anyone if we doubt whether he/she wants the best for us?
I believe there is a way to overcome this fear of asking, and it is this: God has done the most impossible thing. For you. For me.
Think of the most unlikely thing, the most miraculous happening that you want to happen. God has already exceeded that.
The most impossible thing that God has done is to forgive our sins, to save a sinner from death to eternal life. Everything else pales in comparison to that. How can we grasp the impossibility of someone who sins and is condemned to death, but doesn’t have to die? Instead, he can still have eternal life as if he never sinned.
Think of the most outrageous request that you have timidly requested to God. What is that request compared to salvation? All of our outrageous requests combined cannot compare to salvation.
When Jacob returned to Canaan and was at the brink of reuniting with his twin brother, Esau, he was trembling with fear. Last time Jacob saw Esau, Esau wanted to kill him because he had stolen something precious. The weight of that sin was heavy on Jacob. But after a night of wrestling with God and after being assured of forgiveness from God, “Jacob no longer feared to meet his brother. God, who had forgiven his sin, could move the heart of Esau also to accept his humiliation and repentance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 198.
Ever asked for God to change someone’s heart? Sounds pretty impossible, doesn’t it? Yet it is less impossible than the forgiveness of sin.
So, never ask for ‘impossible’ things, because it is easy for God to fulfill it. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32
Ask. Boldly, courageously, obnoxiously. Like a (trusting) spoiled brat to a doting father. Show Him that you actually trust Him.