Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On Asking and Receiving

"Great is Thy faithfulness . . . all I have needed, Thy hand hath provided." -Thomas Chisholm
I dug deep in my pockets for the skills that I needed to land a job in this new town. It didn't matter what job it was-- any job would do-- as long as we could afford to get my sweet, hardworking husband through PT school with no debt. And so we could afford to keep living, too. As I drew my hands out of my pockets, nothing came with them. I had nothing to give. I had only the hope that the Lord would provide for our most basic needs. And He did, with "blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!"

He does not promise the greatest luxuries or satisfy our selfish entitlements. He provides our every need, but He also delights to give good things to His children when they ask for them.

"Everyone who asks receives..." (Matt. 7:8)

I love how Chambers says it. He always has such a way of writing out my heart.
"This does not mean that you will not get if you do not ask, but it means that until you come to the point of asking, you will not receive from God . . . until you comprehend and appreciate mentally, morally, and with spiritual understanding, that these things come from God." (Chambers, "Then What's Next to Do?")
Huh. Tough truth for a self-motivated, determined college grad with lots of ideas about how she thinks she can change her little world. Yet it makes sense... how can I give Him glory unless I acknowledge it as a gift from Him?

There are still things that I ask of Him that He does not give me**. He knows I earnestly long for few things-- things that can only come as a gift, that I can't pull out of thin air-- yet He withholds them from me out of love. I still don't get it, but I'm learning. All I know is that "all I have needed, [His] hand hath provided."

And do I really need more than what the Provider knows I need?


**I have learned a lot of wisdom and encouragement on this topic from John Piper's series "What Do Answers to Prayer Depend On?" which you can look at here and here.

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