There is one sure way to get what you ask, from anyone, in any situation.
Ask what has been asked.
I know my Zuko desires to spend time with me. When I ask her if we could call the baby-sitter and go catch a movie and dinner, the answer is an overwhelming ‘yes’!
I know my Theunsie loves playstation. So if I ask him if he’d like to play some Incredibles or SplinterCell, I don’t even consider that I would be turned down. I know he wants it & my ‘asking’ it is like walking through the door which is already unlocked.
When I started reading Nehemiah’s diary I was sort of surprised by his boldness & confidence. He is emotionally charged & burdened by the plight of a people, he decides he wants to help them & then claims his God’s help. He uses words like ‘listen to me!’ and ‘open your eyes!’ when talking to God about the help he would need & the good will he expects God to solicit on his behalf.
Later on in his diary, after he has spoken to the King & recieved everything he wanted and needed, and even more, when he is in Jerusalem he unveils a part of the seed to his boldness. He speaks of not having told anyone of ‘what God put in his heart to do’.
I think God wants me to be a kind and loving husband, so when I ask him to compensate for my brokenness, to fill my cracks and make me more so I can be everything my Zuko needs, I am asking for something he has already ‘asked’ me.
When I ask that he heal me so that I can be a different kind of father, one who loves and embraces and protects without expectation, I am asking for a door to be unlocked which is already open.
And when I desire to see a new community come to life, one in which fairness and grace and kindness do not only prevail, but thrive, in which justice and caring and acceptance are alive and normal – when I desire this, I desire what he desires and can be confident that the ‘good will’ I need will be abundant, for I am desiring what he desired before time.
This is different from demanding or manipulating, I think.
It comes from hearts beating in rhythm.
I know my Zuko’s desires & my children’s desires because I love them & spend time with them & listen to them. Because I care for them & want them to prosper.
If he is and if he is more than a concept, if he is a person, then surely my heart and his could beat in rhythm as well?
And so I desire to rebuild broken walls.
Not walls which would keep out.
Walls which would protect the vulnerable.
Walls which would give refuge and create safety.
I ask ‘good will’ with kings and queens and rulers.
I expect ‘good will’ and the (in the words of Nehemiah’s diary) ‘hand of God upon me for good’.
Perhaps it is arrogant of any human to imagine that the vibrations of God’s heart could be felt?
Perhaps it is undeniable when those vibrations reverberate through your being?
But I see my Zuko, I see my children, I see the doors wide open as we share desire & I hope that love, kindness, goodness, fairness, care and justice is his desire too and so I ask expectantly and tread confidently towards what has broken ground in my being.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my books available from Amazon’s Kindle-store.
Just click this link to take a look: Theunis Pienaar in Amzaon.