“Mommy, do you think God even knew what Solomon was going to ask for?” came the sweet eight year old voice.
My answer, a thoughtful yes, and then the response…
“Well, why did He even appear to him and ask if He already knew? Why didn’t He just give it to him?”
What a question, isn’t it? Isn’t it the question that adults wrestle with in our innermost being, if God truly knows what we want, won’t He just give it to us?
My answer to this sweet boy child, was that I believe He might just want us to ask, to have faith. This seemed to satisfy the little voice, the always thinking little one. But it rang a bell deep inside of me - I have these desires, these earthly cravings, some have been prayerful requests and soul utterings for years, others have been over two decades. Since my own childish mind was ripe with questions and concerns, I have been asking for more than what I’ve ever really needed. It’s though I’ve been clinging to the hem of Jesus’ robe, the ebb and flow of trusting and relenting. Does He give us all our needs, truly? In this perfection driven society, the one that flaunts it vividly on screens around the globe, I think we have lost sight of asking and trusting for needs, for daily Bread, and confused ourselves with a lifetime of wants. Would our precious Lord not be able to fulfill those, also? Of course, He can and often does. But, back to this society of comfort, He stretches us beyond ourselves so that we might find Him. In His loving kindness He doesn’t give all of our wants, He gives better. And sometimes better looks like not receiving the desire at all, or merely waiting and trusting. And it’s there that we find the fearlessness to ask, like Solomon, not knowing if it will be given but trusting that whatever is put into our outstretched hand is better than our wildest dreams, and sole purpose of the gift received is to be given back for God’s purpose. So I continue to ask for what my heart longs for, knowing that if it happens I will give it back as Hannah did with Samuel, and if my longings and utterances are answered differently, I will serve as Paul knowing that I must count it all as loss for the sake of Christ.
And so I give, with open hands the desires that lay deep. The ones that even I can’t fully explain the “why” of. I give them knowing that with the same open hands that release, they will be filled because God does not leave empty - He fills with Himself, and that’s more than these small hands could ever hold. And all else? Grace upon grace.