“Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Sometimes I’ve struggled with these verses from Matthew. There’s been plenty of times I’ve asked and not received, searched and not found. Not to mention all the times parishioners have shared the heartache of unanswered prayers. Though sometimes prayers get answered in unexpected ways and God’s time is certainly not our time. So the whole concept of unanswered prayers can be perplexing. One thing I believe is that God is not a vending machine where we pray and out of that prayer automatically comes exactly what we asked for. Yet even as I write that—sometimes that does happen!
Here’s a funny example. Neill and I went fishing over the weekend at Day Pond. I haven’t been fishing for years, and he goes all the time because he loves to fish. Even though I got better at casting, I was slow to close the reel. And by the time I was settled enough to focus on the water and feel the fish grab the bait to react, they already grabbed it and swam on their merry way! Basically I was just feeding snacks to all sorts of fish in Day Pond. I got frustrated after awhile and said out loud, “You know, Jesus’ disciples were mostly fishermen. So, come on, Peter! Help a sister out!” (Peter is my favorite disciple, and I took the above picture on the shores of the Sea of Galilee—it depicts Jesus forgiving Peter as explained in John 21:15-19.)
Anyway, I literally caught a fish, my one and only fish of the day (please feel free to admire this huge catch of a sunfish below!) after begging Peter for help. It was hilarious.
Now was this divine intervention? Probably not.
Maybe asking for divine intervention out loud was enough to relax me and sharpen my senses so that I could react better. All I know is that it was a moment of asking and receiving, searching and finding. And Lord knows we gotta celebrate any wins when they come our way these days!
Photos by Rev. Lauren Lorincz & Neill Ostrout.