Lately, Troy and I have both felt challenged to ‘up’ our expectations. Increase our anticipation, so to speak. To not just strive in some areas of life, but to thrive. It can be easy to get into maintenance mode where we give thanks (as we should) for our daily bread and all the good gifts God has given us, but never anticipate and pray into what He wants for the next or present season of time.
We are in somewhat of a transition again, and more than just having a baby in four weeks! And it has caused us to really lean on the Lord as we welcome His good gifts, but also anticipate what treasure is in this season.
If I stop and picture our little girl, say, five years from now as we bake cookies together or dance with Daddy in the kitchen… I would hope that not only does she have a thankful heart, but that she knows her Mommy and Daddy WANT to give her good things. That she feels she can ask and hope. If she never asked for anything, I would wonder if she truly knew how much we wanted to give to her. Now of course, the decision is up to us, but in her asking she would be showing us that she knows we provide and love her and are there for her needs.
I almost feel as if Jesus is before me asking, “What do you want?” which caused me to go to my Bible and look up how many times in the gospels He would ask someone that same question, before He healed them. As if in establishing their desire, He was establishing their faith and trust in Him.
Look for yourself. From the blind beggar Bartimaeus (Luke 9:41, Mark 10:50) to the man at the pool (John 5:6) to asking Martha “do you believe this?” before He brought back her brother Lazarus from the dead (John 11:26), Jesus would repeatedly establish someone’s desire and faith before bringing it about to reality. He didn’t do this with every person, but with enough that it stands out to me as something of importance. What do you want? Do you believe this? Do you want to be healed? Jesus questions as though challenging us to dig deep into what we truly believe.
Is He able?
Does He want to?
Will He show up?
And if I truly believe this, then why am I not asking more in my life?
John 16:24 challenged my heart with, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
There are some things I would really like of the near future. And rather than saying, “God, however YOU want it to go, I am okay with that. I will ride the wave. I will watch and see.” I feel like He is challenging me to ASK and believe in His good character and His heart. As though I underestimate His love for me and how much He is on my side, I almost hesitate to ask big lately. Do you? I feel like it is taking MORE faith to ask big things right now, than to let whatever will be, to be. The results are still up to Him, but there is something in the asking that establishes my belief that He is on our side, and that He is good.
Perhaps the asking is less about receiving whatever we want, and more about establishing relationship anyway. If Jesus says tells us to ask and we will receive, that our joy may be full… Well, we know that true joy is never is perfect circumstances or things anyway. That’s not what God teaches us! It’s about the closeness we can share with Him. So in asking, there must be something that He wants to establish in us … Don’t you think?
I don’t know what boat you’re in – trusting and seeing, asking and waiting, or holding on for dear life as God does some amazing things in your life – but there is something to be said for giving thanks along the way AND asking our good Father for big things for the next season of life. Because at the end of the day, the start of the day, and in the middle of it all, He truly wants to be there for us.
So go on. What do you want Him to do for you? Ask. I dare you.