What You Need

“Suppose one of you goes to a friend in the middle of the night and says, “Let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine has dropped in, and I don’t have a thing for him to eat.” And suppose your friend answers, “Don’t bother me! The door is bolted, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you something.”

He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking.

So I tell you to ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Which one of you fathers would give your hungry child a snake if the child asked for a fish? Which one of you would give your child a scorpion if the child asked for an egg? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks.” (Luke 11:5-13)

My children don’t need a pony. I don’t need a Cadillac. But God always gives us what we need. Our trouble comes in not always being able to distinguish clearly between our needs and our wants. In the time of Jesus, people usually slept together in one room in one bed. They did this, not because they liked the togetherness, but because their houses were small and cramped, often with only one room.

Therefore, it took a lot of effort for a man to rise in the middle of the night, crawl over his entire family, and find his way to his front door in the dark. On top of that, three loaves of bread for someone else’s guest in the middle of the night wasn’t even a reasonable request! But even so silly an appeal could get results if one were persistent enough. It was hard to sleep with someone pounding on the door.

Sometimes we give in to our children just because we get tired of listening to them whine. But God is never in bed, he’s never broke, he’s never had a bad day at work. He’s happy to give, because he loves us. Since even grumpy neighbors and tired parents will respond to our requests, how much more then will our Father in heaven take care of giving us what we really need!

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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