Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
I must confess to you that I struggle to ask for help. I usually attribute it to a relatively harmless but strong sense of independence and desire for self-sufficiency. I often think I should be able to accomplish any task on my own if I just work hard enough. With reflection, I’ve come to see that this struggle is far from harmless and actually rooted in the sin of pride, that belief that I can actually do everything myself and don’t need anyone’s help, including God’s. This trust in self and not in God is, of course, quite problematic, because I absolutely cannot do everything myself. In fact, I depend on the grace of God for everything I do.
Jesus offers us just the right antidote for pride. He invites us into a deep and abiding trust in his goodness and provision. His words are so simple— ‘ask, and it will be given you… knock, and the door will be opened for you.’ Jesus asks us simply to come, be honest and offer our needs and struggles, knowing that God will indeed give good things to those who ask. We need not, and cannot, do it alone, and for that we give thanks to God. The words of an old hymn put it best:
‘What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!’
Almighty God help us to remember that we are your children and depend on your sustaining presence every day. Drive away the pride that leads us to trust in ourselves and not in you, and help us to rest in your goodness all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
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