You’ve probably never encountered this embarrassing situation, but have you ever seen anyone come up short of cash at the grocery checkout?
It could happen to you. You enter the store, hoping only to get a few necessities. You add prices as you go:
Romaine….almond milk….unsalted butter…shredded cheddar — we’re at $12.50 now…
But when you arrive at the checkout tribunal, the cashier pronounces the total and you know immediately that you are convicted. Although you frantically rummage around in the bottom of your purse and find a warped and forgotten checkbook, the cashier shakes her head. “We don’t take checks anymore.”
Moments before, your fellow customers were on your team. You eyed the long checkout lines together, rolled your eyes and waited as one.
Now, you are the criminal, holding up the line, found financially wanting. Although you definitely don’t make eye contact with them, you know they are judgmentally and impatiently tapping their toes.
How have you come to this place?
Somewhere between the frozen broccoli florets and the applesauce squeezies, things started to break down. Perhaps you mindlessly tossed a quart of spumoni into your cart, followed by a bag of artisan coffee beans instead of the generic variety. And maybe your ten-year-old slipped a discounted Lego set in there at the last minute. Either way, your budget has gone unheeded.
Thus begins the humiliating process of deciding what to put back — starting with the Lego figures, followed quickly by the spumoni.
This is highly humbling, which is actually the silver lining to all this. Like a dentist’s drill, it’s something you resist, but it’s good for you in the long run. The flesh cringes at the thought of being humbled, but the God-seeking soul craves it.
This is the point: I woke up at 3:00 a.m. last night, with dozens of thoughts, which tumbled out in rapid succession as prayers to the God who never sleeps.
It suddenly occurred to me that I could keep adding requests to my prayer cart and it would never be too much for Jesus. He is like a welcoming cashier that would be saying:
“Get some more! There’s a BOGO on requests today! Go grab another — right there! Fill up your cart and put ‘em all down! Don’t worry, you have all the time in the world — there’s no one behind you!
A full cart. An unlimited supply. A generous God who has already paid for everything. I never have to decide if it’s too big or small to bring something up to the Throne of Grace…and I never have to put anything back.
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. — John 14:13-14
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. — Philippians 4:6
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! — Luke 11:13