Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Now Let The Vault Of Heaven Resound"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 11:9-10 – So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (NIV)
When I was twelve years old, my mother took a nervous breakdown in front of me. We were sitting in the living room, and she just started going crazy, throwing things around her, breaking ornaments and other items, cursing loudly, and shouting swear words that I had never heard her use before. It was a traumatic event for my youngest brother and me, who were the only two witnesses. It was also the beginning of decades of mental illness that saw her in and out of locked hospital wards for many months each year.
My dad, as well as my siblings, did not know what to do. It felt shameful to us, and we worried about catching the same thing. We didn't ask for help, and we didn't share it with anyone outside of our extended family and the most trustworthy of neighbours. We carried our burdens individually within our own hearts and minds, didn't talk much about it, and just sought to survive the whole experience.
When I look back on those tragic events now, I wish that we had asked for help, good counsel, and guidance. We were so fiercely independent and stubbornly proud, which caused us to become locked in the past and unable to truly cope with my mom's illness. In my case, I ended up as an alcoholic and survived an overdose only because of the quick intervention of dear friends. I now believe that if our family had all been properly counselled and had learned to trust skilled professionals, my life, as well as those of my siblings, would have been addiction-free.
I think that this is why Jesus tells His followers to ask God for help. We tend to use today's highlighted verses as a positive opportunity to get what we want. However, I now think that it's much more than that: Jesus is telling us to ask God for what we really need: help, healing, and direction. Christ is saying to us that God can unlock the door to our future health and happiness, just by asking for help. It's a wonderful promise, which can become a channel of deep and profound blessing in our lives.
Wherever you are today and whatever you are going through, please don't carry your burdens alone. In my opinion and experience, churches are safe places full of good people with compassionate hearts and professional skills that can make a great difference in the healing of our lives. All we have to do is simply to ask for what help we truly need.
Points to ponder: What issues am I currently facing? What burdens am I still carrying? Am I willing to ask Christ for help? Am I ready to ask someone I can trust for support and guidance?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, too often, we think that we are strong, don't need help, and can deal with our own issues. Enable us to stop disabling ourselves by instead reaching out to others who can offer us patience and help, understanding and compassion. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.