The thought of asking for a better price scared me to death. My fear defied logic. He wanted to sell me the system. He expected me to negotiate. I'd never have to see him again. Yet I was scared to ask.
Often, fear prevents us from asking for what we want. Perhaps it's the fear of using up our brownie points with God, so we don't ask for "little" things. Sometimes we're scared someone will think we're not "ladylike." Or we spiritualize fear with thoughts like "I don't really need a raise—God meets all my needs."
The boldness to ask is sometimes the means God uses to bless us. A stranger in a new country, Ruth experienced the blessing and provision of God as she faithfully showed up to glean from Boaz's field. She could have stopped there. There was much to be thankful for—safe travels, daily bread, and a loving mother-in-law.
It was Ruth's courage to ask Boaz to marry her that opened the door for God's plan. Because Ruth boldly asked, she received more than she ever could have imagined—redemption of a family line, a son, social standing. And unbeknownst to her, she had the privilege of a place in the lineage of our Savior.
We ought to ask biblically and in step with the Holy Spirit if we want to receive what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15; James 4:3). But do fearlessly approach the throne of God, and even other people in authority over you, and see how God might choose to bless you.
I'm too strong to ask.
I had sick kids, dinner burning, strangers ringing the doorbell, and my mother calling. All while on a conference call. In an exceptionally busy season, I needed help! But I never asked for it...
"I don't want to stress out my husband with extra responsibilities."
"I can't ask a friend for help—I'll owe her a favor afterward."
"I can do it—I can do all things through Christ, right?"
Too often I think I'm too strong, too capable, too spiritual to ask for help. Yet time after time, God uses people to care for me.
At the counsel of his father-in-law, Moses asked hundreds of men to help him, at varying levels of responsibility (Exodus 18). A man who was capable, wise, and called God's friend needed to humble himself and ask for help.
Asking for help not only blesses us; it also opens the door for others to experience the joy of obedience. It's ironic that the "strength" that keeps us from asking for help is exactly the pride that prevents us from experiencing the real power found in Jesus.