You’ll Never Know Until You Ask, So Just Ask.
This is what I have been telling my kids a lot lately, especially one in particular. He will start to ask a question, then think through what he is asking, answer it himself based on what he thinks I will answer, and then doesn’t even ask me.
It’s been annoying me, because he starts off with, “May I ask you a question?” To which I respond, “Always.” But then he doesn’t ask.
So once again today, he started the same pattern and I quickly encouraged him in a sing song voice, “Just ask. I might say “no” or I might say “yes,” but you will never know until you ask!”
With a slight hesitation, he asked, “Can we go get a snack at X?
To which I responded: “No, but thank you for asking. I’m thankful that you asked. Now you know the answer.”
Another question was obviously brewing. I could see it written across his forehead in the review mirror. Then, without asking if he could ask he smiled and boldly began:
“Then, can we go to the chocolate factory for a little treat…just you and me?”
Oh, that boy knows my weakness. “Of course, yes. Just you and I will go and get a treat. See, if you have chosen not to ask, we would not have this opportunity to enjoy this treat together. So please, from now on, just ask. You will never get a yes, if you choose not to ask.”
The Boldness of Just Asking
There are many who asked Jesus for things. Some wanted to be healed. Others wanted to follow him.
But there was one man in particular that stands out in my mind because many would have proclaimed he was absolutely unworthy to even talk to the Messiah let alone make a request of him.
This man, while Jesus was dying on the cross, heaped insult after insult upon him. And yet as the hours passed, the insult slinger noticed something different about the man who shared the same fate as himself. He realized that the “King of the Jews” he had been taunting, really was the chosen Messiah. He went from keeping insults to defending him.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?
We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Luke 23: 39-41
In that very moment, maybe even with the same breath, after scolding the criminal being crucified across from him, he turned his gaze to Jesus. His boldness skipped just asking, but audaciously steamrolled straight to a sincere plea:
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus’ reply not only reveals his grace, mercy, and ability to read hearts in a way that proves He was God incarnate, but stuns us thousands of years later. The words that are graciously spoken between struggling breaths while hanging on the cross give us hope and remind us to just ask Jesus no matter the circumstance:
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
-Jesus, Luke 23:43
Jesus Wants Us to Just Ask
Ask I pour over the Bible, I see Jesus repeatedly exclaiming the importance of coming to our Heavenly Father in prayer about everything. With all our feelings, hopes, dreams, sorrows, and confusions. When we choose to engage in prayer with God we are in essence entering a spiritual and eternal conversation.
Let’s make the most of it and enjoy the relationship Jesus died on the cross to gift us!
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
-Jesus, Luke 14:12-14
In essence, Jesus encourages us to just ask. He wants us to lean into him, to fear the Lord, to ask his guidance, and to seek his will. He wants to gift us with his abilities and willingness to be bold and it all starts by trusting that he will answer our prayers.
What have you been longing to ask the Lord, but have left unasked?
The blessings the Lord will gift in response to our asking are far better than any chocolate treat that we could receive. As my son and I walked out of the “chocolate factory” this is the lesson I encouraged his heart to hear.