What do YOU need?
It was an exciting prospect. Opportunities to sell my book were always received with a whoop of joy. Being able to sell them to my church family made it even more special. I love not just these opportunities. I also enjoy the soul stirring God conversations they bring. A week before the event, I remembered that I needed lots of change to use the next Sunday. Unfortunately, the sales girl I asked the cash from was having a bad day.
She forgot my request for change and handed me two fifty dollar notes. I could see she had her hands full. So I walked up to the Customer service desk. There was no one there. I waited as patiently as I could. I saw a man hovering near and wondered whether to ask if anyone was waiting on him. Ten minutes passed by. Perhaps I should get it elsewhere, I mused. But I waited. And waited. Finally a sales girl came out and served the man. ‘Won’t be a moment’ she said when she saw me. Then she disappeared in again.
I waited. Another five minutes. And five more. I was about to leave when she turned up, looking flustered and harried. “How can I help you?”
“Please could I get some change?” I asked with a smile, handing over my two fifty dollar bills.
“What do you need?”
It was on the tip of my tongue to say “Ten fives and five tens please.’ But noticing her busy flustered air, didn’t think it was the right time to be too demanding.
‘Lots of fives and tens please”
She punched something into her machine. Then she began counting the money. I was amazed. It was exactly the change I’d been hoping for. She counted them again as she handed the bills to me. There they were. Ten five dollar notes and five ten dollar notes. Perfect. And I hadn’t even had to spell it out for her.
As I left her that day I thanked God. Not just for the money but also for the way God often asks me the same question. ‘What do you need?’ He then proceeds to give me what I need – not always in the way I want or in the time frame I hope for. But in God’s ways and God’s timing which are much better. Scripture tells us that we can be specific as we talk to God. There was a paralysed man at the pool at Bethesda who had waited there for a long time – hoping and praying for healing. Jesus came along. It was obvious what the man wanted. But Jesus made him spell it out.
‘Do you want to get well?’ Jesus asked him. The man began to explain why it was he’d waited so long. Jesus simply said ‘Get up! Pick your mat and walk.’ And yes, he was healed – just like that. After 38 years of waiting.
We stand today at the brink of a New Year. What do you need in 2015? Good health? Restored relationships? A job? Friends? Something to live for? Justice? Strength? God asks of you today – ‘What do you need?’ The Word tells us that our God will supply every need of ours according His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. But it is also true that God is not a magic box. He is not Someone who’s there in order to keep us happy and to give us everything we want or ask for.
There are some blessings that He will always give us when we ask Him – because they are in His perfect will for us. Forgiveness, peace, joy, love, the Holy Spirit. God desires to give us wisdom, courage, love to share with others; the fruit of the Spirit. He wants to teach us through His Word; to guide us to walk in His paths. He gives us contentment, strength, a hope that never disappoints. Most importantly, have you received His gift of Eternal life which He freely gives to all who surrender their lives to Him?
Just as you and I desire to give good gifts to our children, we can be assured that our gracious Father God will give us what is best for us. As His word says in Romans 8:28, “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.’ What do you need today? If we walk in tune with God and His will – all our asking will be what He desires for us – and will glorify Him.
So come to Him today as we look towards 2015. Desire Him. Listen to Him. And ask.
And keep your hands open, ready to receive.
“If you remain in me and my words remain in me, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you. This is my to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7, 8