It is easy for many of us to think that somehow Jesus is lying when he tells us that all we have to do is “ask and it will be given you” (Matthew 7:7). How can this be true? we think. I’ve asked for so many things over the years and they were not given. Dreams I’ve wanted to come true. Wishes and hopes and even prayers that never came to be.
Over the years, of course, I’ve come to realize that my requests going ungranted was not so much because God wasn’t willing to grant what I was asking, as much as it was that I wasn’t willing to change to make it so.
Now, when I find myself asking for the same things again and again in prayer, wondering and doubting what power God has over the universe or what love he has for me, I find myself asking other questions. What is stopping you, God? Why do you not answer me? And eventually, I come to realize that, in many instances, my asking has gone unanswered only because God is holding true to his promise. He is bound by his one and only kryptonite: my will.
It is enough to help me realize that in that moment, I am standing at the threshold of a new opportunity: the opportunity to change. And it is only then that I hear Jesus answering my questions with questions of his own, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41 ) and “Do you want to be healed?” (John 5:6).