One day when I watched my teenager help her younger brother with his homework, I got to watch the two of them work together and enjoy being with one another. It was one of those moments when you wish you could pause everything and just be there. There was some laughing and excitement. There was also a really cool moment when a successful answer was reached.
Overall this was a pretty amazing moment to experience, but I have to say that it didn't start quite so smoothly. I asked my daughter to help him as I was busy making dinner and quite frankly, my son tries to get me to do his homework if he can manage it. So I was hoping that working with his sister would curb his "I don't know how to do it" and get him to solve it with minimal guidance.
They hadn't been working for long when my son started to throw a fit, telling his sister she was wrong. He was being very persistent with his arguing and wouldn't listen to either of us. Finally I told my daughter that she didn't have to help him if he wasn't even going to listen to what we were trying to say. She left and then came back a few minutes later after he decided to calm down. Before she began helping him, I made it clear that if he wanted our help he needed to listen to what we were saying. They then went on to work together with few problems after that.
After this happened it got me thinking, how often when we ask for help are we actually ready or wanting to receive the very help we have asked for? There is a book I have read (the name escapes me at the moment) that describes us, when we are in need of help, as a child coming to our parent and asking for a broken toy to be fixed. He says that we bring the toy wanting it to be repaired, we hand it over and then take it back from the parent before they are finished fixing it, and we then become angry because it's still broken. My son asked us for help but then became angry and defensive when we offered the very help he had asked for.
If we are asking for something, especially something like help or guidance, we should make sure it's what we want before we ask. And if it is something we want, we should be ready and grateful to receive it.
My toddler had recently started asking for things, but when you would give it to him he would say that he didn't want it or wanted something else. At first I would take it back and give him the other thing. I did this because I thought he was learning and I would just give him some time to figure out what he wanted. Then he started changing his mind a dozen times and had no gratitude for what was being given to him. That's when I said enough. What he figured out was that he could ask and ask and ask and change his mind as often as he wanted. So I put an end to it by telling him that if he asked for it that was what he was getting, nothing else.
I believe that God is just the same, even better actually, as any other parent who wants to give the best of everything to their child. But He also understands that a child who isn't patient enough to wait for it or grateful enough to appreciate it will not be benefited by His gift. If we are seeking or asking for something, the only way we will be ready for it and be able to receive it, is by being patient and grateful. We need to excercise patience that it will come and show gratitude for receiving it.
Once we are able to do this, He is more than happy to open the windows and doors of heaven to pour out His blessings upon us. So take a moment and ask yourself, am I prepared to receive the things I am asking for? Am I showing and expressing gratitude, even while I am waiting for the response? Answering these questions may just be the means to helping you overcome those stumbling blocks in your life and bring the solutions you are looking for.
If you are asking for something, make sure you are prepared to receive it or it may just pass you by.