We Ask, He Gives

“God said, ‘Ask something of me and I will give it to you.’” (1 Kings 3:5)

Of all the things to ask for, an understanding heart wouldn’t be the first thing on my list. Honestly, I’m asking God for my vocation more than anything else.

Of course I ask God for healing and protection for my family, discernment and help in my work, vision for my life and ministry, kindness and compassion for those I already know and those I meet everyday. And I ask for big things, too. For seemingly impossible dreams and physical healings and gratuitous blessings and worldwide conversion (yes, I pray for that) because I know God’s heart is generous and for me.

But still, it’s this one thing that I’m asking for most often.

Today’s First Reading, though, is making me reconsider my petitions. The Lord and King Solomon are engaged in an intimate exchange. Solomon was asleep when the Lord visited him in a dream. God wasn’t speaking to him from the heights of His throne in Heaven, bellowing out a decree. He was asking His docile, sleeping friend what he desired most—what he needed.

I like to imagine that, like the rest of us, Solomon had a nagging intention he’d voiced to the Lord again and again. But when given what amounts to a blank check from the hand of God, rather than ask for the thing itself, he sought an understanding heart. And this is where I’m stuck. Maybe what I need, more than the thing itself, is an understanding heart. More than a relationship or a job, or a particular outcome, maybe we need an understanding heart to believe that God’s will for our lives today, in this very moment, is for our good.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Lord was so delighted with him that He gave Solomon everything else anyway. Just because that’s the kind of God He is.

[Tweet “Maybe what I need, more than the thing itself, is an understanding heart. // @thebethdavis”]

What’s on your heart, sister? Can you ask God for more understanding and fewer particulars?

Beth Davis is a lover of Jesus, a recently retired youth minister, and the Director of Ministry Advancement for Blessed is She. She is passionate about teaching women how to develop an intimate relationship with Jesus and speaking hope to weary hearts. Her favorite things include being an aunt to her five fantastic niece and nephews, the Saint Name Generator, and whatever book she’s currently reading. You can find out more about her here.


  • Reply
    Mary Ann McDonald
    February 3, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Beth, your reflection is so very timely & speaks to exactly what’s going on in my own life. I have been struggling with a relationship for a very long time & have been asking God for answers & clairity. Just last night, when I put my circumstances themselves aside and asked for some peace about it and some understanding of his will, He made it clear to me. This relationship is not what He has for me and will com.e to an end. I don’t know how or when, but I don’t have to and am no longer afraid. God has all that under control and will always be with me. He has already given me more than I asked for & I know, with Him, it”s only the beginning. Praise be to God!

  • Reply
    Tammi McCarthy
    February 3, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Ugh…I love this reading from Kings and your reflection just really spoke to my heart his morning. What am I praying for? In the depths of my heart what is truly calling out? Thanks, Beth.

  • Reply
    Brittany Marie
    February 3, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I was having a conversation with a close friend yesterday about how I feel like there are a lot of things going on in my life that are out of my control. We talked about how the Lord’s plan is bigger than ours, but how sometimes we still desire answers and affirmation. She sent me a link to this devotional today and it is exactly what I needed to see this morning.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Dear Beth,
    I’ve been following along with BIS for some time now as a minister of college age women at Notre Dame and for my own spiritual nourishment. Your story of aching and longing and praying for vocation is one I remember vividly. I have a prompting from the Spirit to tell you just how beautiful you are—your ministerial identity, your writing, your joyfilled smile—all beautiful and worthy of someone special to love. Be assured of my prayers for relief from the aching and for a heart like Solomon. Thank you so much for your gift of faith to the Church and this community.
    In Him,

  • Reply
    Marianne Lynch
    February 3, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    How I would love to have an understanding heart at all times! I make my life complicated by judging quickly. Beautifully written reflection.

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