I can still see their faces and the big cheesy grins that swept from ear to ear. Christian and his friend Chase sat up in their twin beds like little princes with the room service menus in hand.
After a few moments of reviewing the menu, Christian popped his head around the door. “Can I order for Chase and me?” he asked. “I know what to do! Please?”
“Okay,” I said, and he dashed back to his buddy.
“So you’ve done this before?” Chase asked.
“Hundreds of times,” Christian replied.
“And we don’t need money?” Chase prodded.
“No, dude, it’s like a miracle,” Christian answered.
“You just call up and order whatever you want, and they bring it up on a tray and you just sign a piece of paper and that’s it.”
I waited until I heard the knock on their door and then watched what happened. Christian dutifully signed the check, and I showed the server out. When I turned around, I saw for the first time what they had actually ordered: two large pepperoni pizzas—one for each of them, a pint of ice cream, and a pot of hot chocolate.
“Look at all this, Mom,” Christian announced triumphantly. “And it didn’t cost us a thing!”
That night I explained the inner workings of room service to my son and his mesmerized friend. I told them that, yes, there are wonderful things for the asking—and, no, you do not receive if you do not ask—but there really is no such thing as a free lunch! Later as I reflected back on that evening, it both horrified and amused me to think that they could have just gone down the whole menu and ordered everything on there! Instead, they went for good ol’ boy food. Then I wondered if, in many ways, we do something similar in our relationship with God. Our heavenly Father offers us so much more than a room service menu, and His resources are unlimited! But like Christian and his friend, we sometimes settle for ordering junk food instead of the bountiful gourmet meal God offers of His presence in every moment of our lives.
A PROMISE OF MORE
Too often we settle for small, temporal things in place of the great, spiritual wealth God waits to give us. No wonder that at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives this promise, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8).
On first read you might be tempted to think this promise plays into our more self-indulgent side, but let’s dig deep and find the treasure awaiting us. What Jesus is promising is a radical transformation in how we think and how we live. His promise to us, like that sermon, is about more: whatever we ask, He has more in store. What He is about to say will change everything if we understand the promise.
Certainly the people on that hillside didn’t expect what Jesus was going to say that day. He would tell them it was the heart that mattered and then say that, because of the heart, we should live with more abandon and passion. He would tell the people that God is not distant or disapproving or disconnected, but a Father who loves to give good gifts to His children. So they should ask and ask and keep on asking.
As I think back to those two little boys marveling over the magic of a room service menu and how radical it was to order a whole pizza each, I think God looks down at us and says, My child, don’t settle for what will feed you for a moment.Ask for more! There is so much more I want to give you. You long to know My presence, and I long to reveal Myself to you . . . if you would just ask. You seek happiness in places that bring only disappointment and pain, but if you seek Me, I will be found, and you will be filled. You knock timidly at My door, and I say knock with everything that is in you, and I will throw the doors of heaven open. I call you to My side. I AM your shelter.
God's Shelter for Your Storm by Sheila Walsh