“Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” -John 16:24
When we want something, all we have to do is ask. Right? Yet so often it seems like God doesn’t hear all of our requests. Our desires, for the most part, are with good intentions and reasoning behind them. They’re things we genuinely think will bring our lives happiness. Jesus wants nothing more than for our hearts to be joyful… so why doesn’t he make it happen right when we ask him to?
Do you remember when you were little, and there would be times that you saw a toy or some fun activity that just made your eyes light up and you wanted it with all your heart? You insisted to Mom and Dad that you would be the happiest kid ever if only you had it.
And then your parents told you 'maybe later,' or 'don’t count on it.' That answer was crushing to hear, because your little heart was so sincere in thinking it would bring all the happiness you need; that it was the best idea ever. The funny thing is, as time goes by and we grow older, we realize that our parents were right to not fulfill that request that we once held onto so tightly. They saw how it wasn’t something that would bring us true joy.
God knows what’s best for us even better than a parent could know. Matthew 6:8 beautifully expresses how “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him". We ask and plead for these desires on our hearts, and it’s upsetting when God doesn’t seem to follow through. But it’s in these moments that we have to ask ourselves, 'Am I expecting and wanting something to happen that’s my will, or God’s?' If we’re constantly asking God to simply fill in the needs and gaps of our ideal plan for ourselves, are our hearts truly being open to the ultimate happiness that God has planned for each of us?
But we can’t let the fear of being told 'no, that’s not for you right now,' hold us back from asking our Heavenly Father for what’s on our hearts. Don’t be afraid to tell him that you need him. He cherishes when you share the innermost desires of your heart with him. But God is a gentleman: he won’t barge in and take over without your consent. He patiently and sweetly waits for the softest whisper from you asking for him. Pray today for an open heart that’s willing to receive the things God knows will bring ultimate joy and happiness.