I watched him as he went from person to person in the food court asking for spare change “to buy some food.” He wasn’t having any success and so he came over to where I was standing in line and in broken English, asked the people serving for something to eat. The husband-and-wife team looked at each other before the wife took up a plate and prepared a small serving. Before she could hand it to the man, he asked, “More, please?”
Those in line chuckled at the man’s boldness but as soon as he spoke, the words from James 4:2b sprung to life in my mind, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “You do not have because you do not ask [it of God].” Right before me was someone who had asked not only for what he needed but confidently asked for the amount that he felt would satisfy his hunger. He needed food and a small amount was not going to do. As I watched the events unfold, the lady smiled and doubled the portions on the plate. This time he took it without hesitation and said his thanks before walking off to find a seat to eat his meal.
The thought occurred to me that his request matched the severity and immediacy of his need. In a spiritual sense, how many Christians fall short in that regard? From the old hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus, we recall the words, “Oh what peace we often forfeit / Oh, what needless pain we bear / All because we do not carry / Ev’rything to God in prayer!” This is a striking indictment of the believer’s inability to recognize and appreciate that the severity of our needs can and will never exhaust the resources of our God. The writer to the Hebrews encourages us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16); there we find Him of whom it is written, He “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). It does not matter the needs, or the severity of those needs, God is more than able to meet them all.
I believe this was what Peter had in mind when he wrote, “Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]” (1 Peter 5:7, AMP). There is no justifiable reason to keep any of our cares to ourselves. We are to cast them ALL upon Him. Knowing God’s inexhaustible supply, Jesus encouraged His disciples, “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8, AMP). No limits, no restrictions. Just the assurance that the things that conform to the will of God for our lives are ours through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). With that in mind, let us not be afraid to ask for what we need. We serve a God who specializes in meeting every need, even the ones that seem impossible.