[The inspiration for these reflections are adapted from PAUSES FOR LENT: 40 Words for 40 Days, Copyright © 2015 by Rev. Trevor Hudson by Upper Room Books Nashville. Both the selected Scripture and theme and initial paragraph in quotes are from Hudson.]
“Ask, and it will be given you.” Matthew 7:7
“Asking for what we need does not mean we get everything we ask for. But through asking, we learn humility, discover our interdependence, and allow both others and God to show their care for us. It is the way our relationships with God and one another become more real, honest, and intimate,” (Hudson).
When I was graduating college, Baylor University to be precise, computers were just becoming a ”thing.” Baylor was not an inexpensive school and my parents had just paid my entire tuition, plus my sisters for four years before me. I was young, not aware of sacrifices and the cost of things and so asked my dad for an Apple Macintosh LC computer upon graduation.
When I first called with this request my dad was hesitant, understandably so. If I had realized what my parents had already sacrificed to see me through college, I would have never asked. But I did, and after a day or two of not hearing anything, I get a go ahead call to buy the computer from the college computer store. I was thrilled. It had a color screen, two floppy drives, no internet access was available at this time, and a full sized key board. I was in heaven. What I would later learn is that my dad traded his one and only used Rolex watch so I could have my computer.
I will never forget that day, weeks later, when I looked down at my dads wrist and noticed a Timex rather than a Rolex. I asked where his Rolex was and then put two and two together. I asked for a computer, and because he loved his son, he gave up something he loved for something I wanted.
Isn’t this a picture of our Heavenly Father? He gave an event greater gift to humanity, his one and only Son, so that we might have life, be free, and live in fellowship with God for ever. But God was forced to make this sacrifice by our sin. Our own desire to get what we wanted resulted in him giving what was most precious. Jesus came to die so we might live for him. The trade of the death of the Son of God for the sins of humanity doesn’t seem quite fair. Why should God pay for something he did not cause?
Matthew 7.7 tells us to ”ask and it will be given to you.” Sometimes we ask for those items which are pure and holy, righteous and just. Sometimes we ask selfishly and sinfully. But the Loving Father knows what we need before we ask. He provides good gifts to his children. He loves us regardless of our sin and in spite of our selfish state. Although this doesn’t mean we get everything we ask for, if we ask in accordance with God’s will for our lives, we will reap a harvest far beyond anything we could hope for or imagine.
My dads selling of his Rolex watch so his son might have a computer meant the world to me. How much more when our Heavenly Father gave his only Son for our salvation!
“O Lord God, Lent is speeding by. The cross is coming into view. The path you took of sacrifice and love will not go unnoticed. Come now, Holy Spirit, help me walk in fullness of your love and in light of your grace. Thank you for loving me. For pouring out your self so I might have life and for the gift of the Holy Spirit inside my life. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen