|James 4:2 – “You do not have because you do not ask God.”|
To my mind, nothing goes better with a sandwich than a crunchy dill pickle. I’ve even been known to pack my own jar when I know there won’t be any available at a sandwich-eating event. (Yes, I bring enough to share.) It’s not like I always travel with a pickle in my purse, though, which is why for many years, every time I ate a sandwich at a restaurant, I thought, “I really wish I had another pickle.”
Then one day I had an epiphany: I could ask for an extra pickle. Honestly, until that moment it had never occurred to me that was something I could do. I don’t know why I didn’t think I could ask; it’s not like restaurants are festooned with signs stating, “only one pickle per person!” I just took what they gave me and assumed that was all I could have.
The next time I ordered a sandwich, I asked for an extra pickle. And guess what? They brought me one. I’ve been happily munching extra pickles ever since. No one has ever rolled their eyes at my request or said “no, you idiot, what are you thinking?” They already have pickles in the kitchen; it’s no big ‘dill’ to toss another one on my plate.
Am I really relating something as silly as a pickle to a verse of Scripture? Well…sort of. James also tells us not to ask for things out of selfish motives, and my crunchy kosher spear might well fall into that category. But when it comes to asking God for other, better things, I wonder how many times we just don’t. Because we’re afraid God might get irritated at us for asking. Because we assume that what we’ve been given is all we’re allowed to have.
I’m a big fan of contentment and being thankful for what we have, but I can’t help but wonder…
What are we missing out on because it never occurs to us to ask?
Father God, give us the wisdom to know when our motives are pure, the boldness to believe that You hear us when we ask, and the faith to trust that whether or not You grant our request, You will do what is best for us.