Happy Sunday, Friends! It’s the first full week of October, I hope you’re enjoying the crisp weather. Below is a meditation and something fun to try – two small glimpses of joy for your week.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
I recently read a book that made me think of this verse in a new light. In the book, there is a character (a prince) who is in a position of power over a girl. In the beginning, she tries to do things on her own, not even daring to ask him for help or what she needs. She doesn’t trust him. Whenever he finds her trying to do things on her own, he gets offended. “Why would you not ask for my assistance?” At first he’s offended because her doubt shows her lack of belief in his character.
As the book progresses, she starts to trust him. And he starts to falling for her. As she trusts him, she slowly and cautiously starts asking him for help rather than trying it on her own. When she asks, here’s how he answers:
- “Of course.”
- “If there is something in my power to give you, all you must do is ask.”
- “As you wish.”
You see, when you care about someone, you always want to give them what they want. He didn’t always give her what she asked. There were situations where she didn’t understand the consequences of her requests, but he did because of his position. Even so, it was always his desire to give her what she wanted. I’ve experienced this with my toddler – she’ll want something but I know it won’t provide for her what she is really seeking or what is best for her. It bums me out that what she thinks she wants won’t make her happy and that she thinks I’m holding out on her.
Furthermore, when you care about someone, you always want them to come to you with what they want. At first, the prince was offended that she didn’t ask when she thought he wasn’t a nice guy. But as his feelings grew, it became even more offensive/ridiculous to him whenever she seemed afraid to ask or not sure if he would say yes. To him, it was so clear that if it was in his power and in her interest, he would give her whatever she wanted because he loved her.
Often when I read Jesus’ words in Matthew 7, I see it as a doctrine or formula for answered prayers. But what if instead, Matthew 7 is an example of the lavishness of his love for us?
- Do you believe God views you like the prince views the girl in this story? Why or why not?
- What areas of your life are you trying to “figure it out” on your own rather than asking God for help?
I recently listened to a great podcast about immigrants in America that really convicted me about what I can be doing to care for and serve them. This topic has become really politicized (hasn’t everything?), but this podcast helped me remember that immigrants are first and foremost people. Simply people, with equal value, who we are called to love. They’re not an ideology or a policy or an agenda. They are people with stories, hardships, needs, feelings and loved ones. They’re really just us placed in different circumstances. Below are some simple ideas for learning more and caring for them.
- Listen to this podcast with Sarah Jackson or read her book.
- Read what the Bible says about caring for the foreigner. What do you think that looks like today?
- Seek out an organization that serves immigrants and look for ways to get involved:
- Arrive Ministries (Minnesota)
- Casa de Paz (Colorado)
- Remote Opportunities
- Sew masks for immigrants released from detention. Let us know when you’re ready to mail them in or drop them off.
- Donate frequent flier miles and/or points so we can purchase plane tickets to reunite families separated by detention.
- Use your voice to protect asylum seekers and advocate that children be released from detention with their parents
- Write a “Welcome to the USA” card for folks being released from detention.
- Remote Opportunities