“Ask and it shall be given.”
So go the words of Jesus, I believe, to prompt us into a position of humility. Who among us is eager to ask for help? Who among us is confident enough to admit inferiority?
But ask and it shall be given. However, if asking is hard for us then what Jesus intends to direct us toward next will not be any easier.
“Seek and you shall find.”
These promises, of course, hinge on the active verbs, which are married, each of them, to the invisible and inclusive pronoun: ‘you’
I like to think of Jesus’ proverbial words, which have been mostly exposited by preachers as statements disconnected from the each other, as statements followed by ellipses or fill in the blank lines which build on each other. For myself, I see an axiom unfolding.
Ask and it shall be given… what has already given to you.
Seek and you shall find… that you must seek a little harder.
Is it an often stupefying feeling that overwhelms us in our desperation when we see that an answer we have been searching for has always been right in front of us. How many times have I called for help from heaven only to find its messenger a man, or a book, or a flower pot, living among me? It is often at the “end of our rope” moments, when we have searched all we can for the great and large lightning bolt of God, as well as its crater mark, that we finally find him. This time instead in the encouraging smile, the unmarked envelope, the two dollar bill, or the call from a friend, and the flower pot.
It is too easy to seek God as he exists in the miracle of fish an bread. It is our blessing, however, to find him through our long straining in something as small as the head of a pin.
And so we knock on the door of our neighbor who slipped the envelope beneath our door, who smiled at us along the pier, who handed us that something-and-change for a half gallon of gas.
We knock and we say thank you; and we find the door we are knocking on is the door of heaven.