Just over a month ago, in peony season here, I was gushing over my neighbour’s peony bushes every time I was outside, driving up to the house, thinking about peonies – you catch my drift. It’s funny because our neighbours are a group of guys living in their 20s, not really your typical people group with all that much interest in peony bushes. They have one bush that’s a deep magenta, one that’s a vivid pink, and another blush pink bush. Absolutely gorgeous.
The day before my birthday, I decided that I was going to ask if I could take some peonies. If it were a neighbour that really loved their flowering bushes, I doubt I would’ve asked. But even so, I felt weird to just go over and ask to take away some of their flowers. With a little boy in each hand, I walked over and asked the owner (one of the young guys) if I could take a few. His response was so generous and clearly (because I love these bushes so much!) it’ll be something I’ll never forget.
“Of course!” he answered, “why don’t you take some of the bushes to replant?”.
“Gah!” was all I could think and I suddenly wished it was autumn so I could transplant them right them and there!
…Ask using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. – John 16:24
Sometimes, it really is that simple. All we need to do is ask to receive and we will in turn get even more than what we came to the throne asking for. Jack Canfield said, “One of life’s fundamental truths states ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ As kids we get used to asking for things we somehow lose this ability in adulthood. We come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to avoid any possibility or criticism or rejection.”
How is it that sometimes when I go to ask for something, I immediately think – there’s no way. I limit myself by what I am choosing to believe and receive. And probably more than I know, miss out on richer experiences because I only go as deep as I think I “deserve”.
To top it off, Jesus not only said that if we ask we’ll receive, but He also said we will have abundant joy [abundant: adj. present in great quantity; more than adequate, over sufficient] Directly before that verse (v24), He talks about how a woman who gives birth goes through a period of discomfort, pain, and anguish. But the minute her baby is in arms, her agony is replaced with JOY. When there is that joy, she won’t need to ask for anything. Though during her distress, she did ask.
How many of us sit in pain and feel like we can’t ask for that joy? Or see what we think is out of our reach and don’t even ask for it because we don’t think we deserve it? Pity ourselves and feel too sad to think we could triumph through our present difficulty? Or feel like we shouldn’t impose on requesting a bunch of peonies?
Jesus said to ask. And he ALSO said you will receive.
Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you. – Jim Rohn
pic pix: a repost of the peony bunch. 18.Jun.2015, at home