“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.” Luke 11:10 (MSG)
“Mom, if I can visit my friend Dylan, I will give you 5$.”
Who in their right mind would respond something like, “5$! That’s a deal!” No way! Most moms genuinely love their children. They would be hurt if their children thought they had to be bribed.
The same is even more true with our Heavenly Father. His moto is: “Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you.” Matthew 7:7 (GW)
In case of doubt, remember: “Have faith that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 (GW)
We had a perfect example of this last summer in a hotel in Northern Spain.
First, we couldn’t find the hotel. We asked a local, and he certainly tried to help us. “It’s right there!” He told us in Spanish, or at least that’s what we think he said, for he was indicating a location on the other side of the river.
My wife looked blankly at that long ribbon of water, noting as she did that unless we had one of those hybrid vehicles that can also become a boat, there was no way to get “right there”! She looked at me and shook her head.
I decided to try my broken Spanish: “Is there a bridge?”
The young man shook his head and said something, but the only word we understood was the one we didn’t want to hear: “No!”
He then did his best to tell us how to get there, but with the language barrier, he just couldn’t make us understand. We decided to drive back up the road we had used to enter the town to see if we could find a bridge, and we eventually succeeded. We also found a fisherman who knew exactly where the hotel was, and since we now had a bridge, he was able, with lots of hand gestures, to make us understand how to get there.
What a relief when we finally arrived. It was late and we were very tired. We were looking forward to relaxing in our room, and maybe even going to bed a bit early; but it would seem that relaxation was not in the plan for us…
The first thing we noticed was that the room was hot. We tried to set the thermostat on the air conditioner, but we couldn’t get it to go any lower than 25 C (77 F). And although the unit was blowing full-blast, the room temperature was much more accurately around 35 C. Far too warm for good sleep!
We went to the office and tried to explain in broken Spanish what the problem was. The hotel owners were really nice, AND they quickly assured us that they spoke a little English. Bonus! Someone returned to our room with us to lower the thermostat to 20 C. “That should work,” he stated. “If your room is still hot after 30 minutes, let me know.”
As you may have already guessed, 30 minutes later, bringing us now to 11 P.M., we were back in the reception area.
The owner immediately got on the phone to call the air conditioner repair man, asking him to come.
What…wait…It’s 11:00 P.M.!
Besides not fully believing that a repairman would come out that late in the evening, we really didn’t want to stay up any longer! We asked the hotel owner to just give us a fan, and he brought us a powerful one right away; but when we tried to help him understand this was all we needed, that the air conditioning repairman didn’t need to come, he wouldn’t have any part of it.
Forty-Five minutes later, we began hearing someone banging and bumping out in the hall, and at midnight there was a knock on our door. It was the air conditioning repairman. He checked our thermostat and told us, in Spanish naturally, that each room has its own air conditioning unit and that he thought our problem was resolved. It was 12:20 a.m. by the time he left, and he returned early in the morning to complete the job.
I had often heard it said that the Spanish take their time to fix things. Many tourists complain that requested repairs on showers, air conditioning and so on, never happen. I cannot concur, for this was not our experience. We learned early on that if we are friendly and try to speak their language, they would do anything to help, for the Spanish people truly care and will go out of their way for you.
If a hotel manager would go out of his way to help us with our air conditioner at 11:00 P.M., how much more will our Heavenly Father come to our help at any time of day or night!
(To access the entire “Majestic Mountain View” devotional series, please click here.)