“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.
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.