It was a winter day when Bill made the trip to my parents’ home. His intention was to ask my dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I didn’t travel along for the ride. Bill was beyond nervous. A quick synopsis of the conversation is that interchange with my parents quickly went down the tubes. Dad (LaVerne) gave Bill a resounding “No!” LaVerne didn’t even want to discuss the possibility of marriage. He blocked that conversation with a barricade higher than the Berlin Wall.
What if instead, LaVerne had said to Bill: “Let me think this through and process this. I love you both dearly and would love to see how we could work this out.” Bill would have left my house a great deal happier, seeing hope. That’s what open doors do; they provide pathways to light. Walls do not. Bill almost stopped knocking after his exchange with LaVerne.
In contrast to Bill’s experience, God has given to His children an incredible promise in Matthew 7:7-11 that has to do with coming before out Heavenly Father with requests. Notice the repeated words: “keep on.” Keep on asking, seeking and knocking. God, the Creator of the Universe, actually wants to hear from us over and over again. He doesn’t get bored with us, or consider it an inconvenience. However, “It is easy to presume that asking, seeking, or approaching that door to knock upon it is a waste of time. But God is not this way.” God has built a door and wants to open it for us.
This doesn’t mean that God is a spiritual genie. There are no magical words. Nowhere does it say, “Name it and claim it and the jackpot will appear”. God the Giver is good and not the author of some half-baked scheme of our own making. Because He is God, He is the One who gets to define what is good—not us! (Read the Book of Job or Hebrews 11:32-38 to give you a much clearer view on that.) God always has our best interests at heart. He is all-knowing and will only give us things that are good for us. His door is made for opening with goodness waiting for us.
This knocking is for the unskilled, just like us. If we are truthful, we all fit in with what Charles Spurgeon termed, “the ignorant and short witted”. Sometimes I’m not even sure regarding what I am praying for and how it fits into God’s plan, but I keep knocking. “The point seems to be that it doesn’t matter whether you find God immediately close at hand, almost touchable with his nearness, or hard to see. Even with barriers between, He will hear, and He will give good things to you because you looked to Him and not another.”
I praise God that my husband persisted and finally gained my father’s permission to marry. But better yet, due to a lot of asking, seeking and knocking in prayer before our Heavenly Father, this marriage has lasted almost 50 years. Piper writes, “It is a great mercy to us and to the world that we do not get all we ask.” I asked for Prince Charming and got something much better, my Bill. God knew what was best from the very beginning (regardless of what LaVerne thought).