Ask, Seek, Knock
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”.Matthew 7:7-8
Had I been a boy, my name would have been Matthew. My Mother shared this with me many years ago. I have always been partial to the name, feeling like it somehow subconsciously represented the male version of myself I would never know.
Ironic how one of my favorite Biblical verses is found in the book of Matthew. Coincidence? Or kismet-inspired drawing to a man in which I had a fifty percent chance of sharing a namesake? Either way, he was a pretty wise and willing follower of Jesus who left some invaluable life advice, the likes of which the world has never since known.
I used to think this verse depicted God in an all-powerful, golden hue, genie/Santa Claus-esque role, doling out presents here and there as He saw fit. A puppy for you! Yes! That house you have always wanted? Sure! The job you applied for has been granted. The lottery? Ok! A baby? As you wish…
Not so. Life has taught me many lessons. One of which is we do not always get what we want, what we think we need, and what we subsequently pray for. I used to think I got the short end of life’s inevitable stick of fairness. That was when I lived a life comparing my own to others. Of course, no one ever wins in the infamous game of comparison.
Upon entering my thirties, life took me on a roller coaster of surprise, grief, anxiety, and devastation as well as immeasurable joy, answered prayers, a love I had never known, and higher highs than John Denver sang about in one of his most genius lyrical masterpieces ever, Rocky Mountain High (inspired by the majestic Rocky Mountains in Colorado).
What I realized though, is this: when God’s inspired Word encourages us to ask, seek and knock, it is not necessarily for material things, relationships, situations, possessions, or even life experiences.
The ultimate meaning behind these simple yet poignant words depicts a need for something far greater.
Wisdom, discernment, inspiration, the ability to persist, the desire to learn from mistakes, the need to seek wise counsel when life goes rogue, the strength to get up after a hard, prideful, and self-injuring fall.
The will to keep going, try again, and maybe even use what you have learned to assist others. I believe that is what Jesus meant in the book of Matthew when he called his followers and friends to ask, seek, and knock.
I still pray for what I want. Obviously. I am human, after all. Yet, in the back of my mind, there is a still small voice that whispers, This may not be best for you, child. I humbly, at times, disappointedly, resign myself to an answer. Whether it be yes, no, wait, or, my personal favorite…something way better is on the horizon.
There is no such thing as unanswered prayer. I believe God faithfully hears each and every prayer from the lips of his beloved children. He subsequently answers based on His all-knowing wisdom, not on human un-knowing wisdom. I am so thankful for this.
My heavenly Father sees the big picture while I only see a small part. He sees the forest while I see the smallest sprig of a sapling just starting her long enduring journey in the forest of life.
God’s answer may not always be exactly what I pray for. However, time and time again, He has proven His answers are always best. I will always find solace in knowing the answers meant for me; to better, grow, encourage, and fulfill me, lie in wait.
All I have to do is simply, humbly and reverently ask.