“Grandma, grandma, grandma,” says the three-year-old.
“Up, up, up,” says the one-year-old.
These two boys are not silent until they get a response from me, and I always respond–sometimes in the way they had hoped, sometimes with a “not now” and sometimes with a firm no–but usually with the response they had hoped for, because I am their Grandma, and my love and affection for them knows no bounds. Saying yes is my favorite.
Grandma, grandma, grandma is often a childlike, rude jab aimed at breaking through adult conversations and claiming all of the attention. But every time I hear this child’s voice, I think to myself, Oh, how I love hearing him call me grandma. How I love hearing that little boy clamoring for my attention. How I love to bring my face down toward his, to see what it is he wants.
Jesus gives his disciples a command in Matthew 7:7: Ask and it will be given to you. This verb “ask” is in the progressive tense, so it means to keep asking.
Ask, ask, ask.
Grandma, grandma, grandma.
Lord, Lord, Lord.
The affection of Jesus turns what would otherwise be considered an immature and ill-mannered demand into something sweet to his ears. Oh, how he loves for us to clamor for his attention. How he loves to bring his face down toward us, to hear us say what we want.
After three years of painful experiences and the sun just now beginning to punch through the darkness I’ve walked through, I look back and feel loved. Repetition fills my daily journal, as I have petitioned the Lord for the same things ad nauseum. My incessant asking for help, for comfort, for justice, for encouragement, for hope, for goodness, for mercy, for favor–over and over again–have resulted in intimacy of response from God. Custom response. Delighted response. He told me to ask without stopping, and I did it, and he gave and gave and gave.
What is it you need right now, to get through this day? What do you long for? What do you feel you’re lacking? Open up your Bible and see who God is. Pull truth from his word and ask.
Again and again. Loudly. Don’t take a breath in between, as if you have good manners. You are deeply loved, beyond any kind of feeling a grandma could ever have for tow-headed little boys. God is ready to turn his ear toward you, and if it seems he hasn’t heard you after the first time you’ve asked, ramp it up and ask harder and louder. This is pleasing to him. Tug boldly on the pantleg of heaven.