Several years ago I found myself along with my husband carrying a swing set from one yard to my friend’s yard, and while we were carrying the swing set she told me the story of why we were moving it into her yard. She had noticed that her neighbor’s kids were older and no longer playing on the swing set and her children were just the right age to enjoy a swing set. Money was tight, and they couldn’t afford to buy one, so she prayed that if her neighbor truly was no longer using it that God would place my friend’s family on her heart and offer them the swing set. That same day, the neighbor came over and asked my friend if she would like to have the swing set, and there we were that very evening moving it into my friend’s yard! Even though I believed that God provides our needs, I always felt uncomfortable asking but that moment left a mark on my faith walk. I realized that maybe God didn’t mind (and perhaps enjoyed) giving. My kids were just the right age for a swing set as well and we also could not afford to go buy one; however, I didn’t know of any swing set that wasn’t being used, and admittedly I felt kind of silly asking for something my friend just received. I asked anyway. I prayed and asked God that if there was anyone on our street that no longer needed their swing set, that they would see that our children would have fun with it. The next day, the person living next to the church came in to the office and asked my husband if he knew of anybody that could use a swing set. She had a high privacy fence around her yard, so we had no idea that we had a neighbor with a swing set. I learned that no matter how big or small the issue may be God does enjoy showing us He cares. Please turn to Matthew 21:18-22.
This is such an interesting example that Christ gave us about prayer. Did Jesus really need to kill the fig tree? No! I think He was showing us that we can ask for things that don’t necessarily matter if it happens or not; such as the swing set. Neither I nor my friend needed the swing sets we asked for, but God gave them to us anyway. By no means am I saying that we are to become materialistic and ask God for every want we have, I’m just saying that sometimes we don’t get to experience God’s generosity and power because we don’t ask. Since that time my husband and I have asked for things and found ourselves amazed at God’s provision and generosity. We have even received a car for free when we found ourselves needing a car. I also think it is a heart issue. God knows our heart and He knows if we are looking at Him merely as a vending machine or if we look at Him as our Father whom we love and trust enough to come and ask.
There are times that we may ask for things that do not fit in God’s plan and He does not provide those things. I have experienced no’s in my life that at times just didn’t make sense. Looking back, I can see why God said “no,” but at the time I couldn’t understand. It wouldn’t have been good for me or someone else to give me what I asked for. Sometimes I received “no,” for an answer to something I thought I needed only to find out that God just wanted to give me something that was better for me. Please turn to Mark 10:35-40. Sometimes we ask for things that are not ours to have and God will tell us no. But we can ask and trust that God knows what is best and trust His decision.
Do you ask God? Are you missing out on God’s provision and generosity because you do not ask? Do you trust God’s final decision?