“Ask, and it shall be given you.” (Matthew 7:7)
I can’t count the times I’ve quoted that Bible verse back to God while asking Him for something special.
Today I let my mind trek back to our newlywed days and an important request I made. In our first apartment there were four pieces of furniture: a card table, two chairs and a book case. We didn’t even have a bed.
But the reason we signed for that particular apartment was the Murphy, a metal fold-up bed permanently installed in a closet. At bedtime, it pulled down like the door on a dishwasher. In the morning, it lifted back into the closet, and the bedroom morphed into a living room. (We never had to “make the bed” because when it folded up, sheets and blankets slipped to the bottom anyway.)
The Murphy bed must have been named after a guy who never slept in one. If he had, he wouldn’t want his name attached to it. A bed with metal bands instead of springs is first cousin to a hammock.
As thankful as I was for Murphy, I began asking God for a real bed. Months went by, a new bed didn’t come, and I quit pestering Him.
But one day a friend called. “My grandma died, and we’re looking for a place to store her bedroom set. Are you still sleeping on the closet bed?”
Her grandmother’s exquisite furniture arrived the next week, custom made in the 1920’s, of satin wood from Australia. Movers hiked up three floors carrying not only a real bed but also a dresser, a high boy, a vanity, a night stand and a chair, each piece gleaming with polished inlaid wood designs.
As we arranged the furniture, chatting enthusiastically about its beauty, I never connected its arrival to my having asked God for a bed… until today that is, nearly 40 years later.
I was actually doing some asking for something else at the time. Although I didn’t hear God’s voice, out of nowhere the thought came: “How about less asking and more thanking… like for the bed AND FULL BEDROOM SET I sent you four decades ago, in answer to your prayer request.”
I was stunned. It was true! How negligent of me to miss the connection. But I guess that was God’s strategy, because immediately gratitude came pouring out of me in big waves.
I’m still planning to make requests but not to get stuff. Instead I’m asking God to show me how He has already answered my past requests without me noticing or thanking Him. Although I may forget what I ask for, He never does. I want to properly thank Him, even if it takes 40 years to finally connect the dots.