“For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” —Matthew 7:8
Usually, when I read or hear this passage my mind goes immediately to the future. What do I want or need that I should ask of God? What am I searching for? How might God grant my prayers or open a door for me? Maybe it’s because the responsorial psalm for today is “On the day I called, you answered me,” it strikes me that we should sometimes read Jesus’ words looking in reverse. What if we take some time to look backward in our lives and acknowledge all those times we asked and did receive? What about all those times we were searching for something and God led us to it, or when we knocked on God’s door, and God answered? I know for sure there have been times I prayed for something, and God answered my prayers, but I forgot to thank God for the gift. I’m also sure there have been times when I asked for something, and God answered my prayers, but not in the form I imagined, so I didn’t even realize God answered me. Now would be a good time for us to remember to thank God for those instances.
The more we focus on how faithful God has been to us in the past, the easier it is to trust that we’ll find what we’re searching for in the future. It’s like the story Dennis, Matt, and Sheila Fabricant Linn tell in their book Sleeping with Bread. During World War II, children experienced so much trauma and hunger that they had trouble getting to sleep in their orphanages at night. Even though they were safe now, they were conditioned to live with scarcity and hunger. Then someone had the brilliant idea to give each child a loaf of bread to sleep with, so they knew they would have bread again when they woke up in the morning. They needed a tangible reminder that they would receive food when they asked for it again.
For Prayer: Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of times when God answered your prayers, big or small. Spend a few minutes today soaking in how faithful God has been to you and saying thank you.
To Pray: Gift-giving God, like a good parent, you have always given me what I needed to become who I am today. Give me deeper trust that you will continue to answer me.