As we grow from childhood into adulthood, we encounter experiences that tend to define us. I grew up not having things come my way easily. I found it difficult to ask for help because I was afraid of being turned down and would worry endlessly about putting the person in a position where they had to explain why they could not help. Even when I encountered people who could help, my fear of disappointment wouldn’t let me ask.
When I was introduced to Jesus many years ago, what a joy it was to know I could ask for anything from God and He would be wiling and also able to answer my prayers! Some of my favourite verses were; “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! (John 14:14)
I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you (Matthew 18:19)
For me, this was a game changer. It not only gave me the confidence to approach God in prayer for anything, it also helped me better handle disappointments. I remember having a conversation with some friends who were upset on my behalf because someone who had the means to provide assistance to me failed to do so while providing the same assistance to others. I remember telling them, I have learnt that people have a choice to either be used by God to bless others or not. When they make themselves a channel of blessing, God blesses them in return. If they decide not to provide assistance, God will raise someone else.
This reminded me of the Bible story of Esther and Mordecai in Esther chapter 4. Haman, one of King Xerxes advisers hated Mordecai personally and by extension, the Jews living in Persia. He hatched a plan and cunningly got the king to sign an edict that would ensure that all Jews - young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day. (Esther 3:13)
When Mordecai heard the news, he tore his clothes and wore sackcloth. Wearing a sackcloth was a sign of mourning and grief. Word soon got to Esther who sent a change of clothes which Mordecai refused. He however sent a message to Esther, asking her to request the King’s intervention. Going to the king’s presence without being summoned was a crime punishable by death and Esther responded to Mordecai about the implication of such an action.
Mordecai’s response is one of those statements that firmed up my understanding of the choice we have of availing ourselves to being used as a channel of blessing to others or not. He told her frankly, “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this? (Esther 4:13-14)
Esther went ahead to meet the king which led not only to saving the Jews but also destroying the enemy that plotted against them.
Most, if not all of us have been turned down at some point or the other. If we have been turned down many times, it could affect our ability to to request or ask for something. We however have a God who says, “Ask Me Anything, I will do it!” Isn’t that amazing?
Looking back at my past, I can count how many times I’ve asked anyone for help but God has brought help my way through people I least expected would help. A lovely woman who I had never physically seen till she passed on to glory, paid most of my University fees. I know that I will see her again at the Master’s feet and will be able to tell her, ‘Thank you for making the choice to be a channel of blessing to me’
When people turn you down, don’t be bitter and don’t be upset. Take your needs to the Lord after all, He has promised that whatever you ask in His name, He will do it.