Scripture: Matthew 7: 1-12
Key verse: (7) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find’ knock, and it will be opened for you.”
Reflection: There is a familiar saying: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” This saying originates from a mistranslation of 1 Corinthians 10:13 in which the Apostle Paul writes: “God will not let you be tempted more than you can bear.” But, there is a big difference between being given more than you can handle and temptation – even if some temptations are more than we can handle. Why do I bring this up in relationship to today’s passage? Because there is often misunderstanding around the verse I have highlighted in today’s passage that causes disappointment and doubt. Many people in desperate situations have asked and sought and knocked through prayer, but they didn’t get the answer they were looking for. Sometimes there was no answer at all. They didn’t experience what Jesus promised that God would give them good gifts just like a loving and kind parent. Many of the people I interact with in pastoral care situations believe that God is giving them heavy burdens in order to make them stronger, but they end up feeling broken. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount Invites us to think about what we could or should be asking, seeking and knocking for. Is Jesus inviting us into a relationship that is more complex than asking for things? There are prayers that are answered when we ask, seek and knock. When we ask, we are admitting our vulnerability before God and that we can’t control everything in our lives. When we seek God, we discover God is with us and God will give us the courage to keep seeking Christ. When we knock, we continue to remain steadfast and persistent in our faith journey. Asking, seeking and knocking are more than getting what you want when you want it. These are key activities of our faith. We engage with God no matter our circumstances and over time we are transformed. This isn’t easy. It requires faith that God does love us even when life crashes down around us. I pray that if you are in pain today, plagued by fear and anxiety, that you will ask God to give you the strength to endure; the hope to look for God and the will to hold on to our God who will never let you go.
Prayer: Loving God, we are counting on you to be with us even when we feel you are very far away. In times of trouble, bring others to us to show your love and support. Help us in the good times to cultivate our faith so that we will be ready for any storm. Thank you for your loving care. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].