You Didn’t Ask…

by Jake Hershey on July 29, 2012

How good do you know the people in your life?  I used to pastor a cowboy church.  We had a weekly roping practice and since we started the church right after we moved to this area and didn’t know anybody, the roping practice was how I met a lot of the local ropers and cowboys.  I can’t tell you how many times I met a guy at practice and we’d have a good visit about horses or cattle or ropin’… or whatever.   Then, a week or a month or several months later, he’d come strolling into church for the first time on Sunday morning.  He’d see me, a familiar face and we’d visit a little bit…just like we always did.  We’d have church (which included me preachin’) and right after church, I’d see that same guy, who would walk up to me and our conversation would go something like this:

Them: “Jake…man, I’m sorry.”

Me: “Sorry for what?”

Them: “I didn’t know you were the preacher!  I would have acted different around you!  Why didn’t you tell me you were the preacher?”

Me (smiling) “You didn’t ask.”

I always took that as a compliment.  I didn’t want them to act differently around me and I still don’t.  I wanted them to feel comfortable and be who they were…I knew God would take care of the rest.  The funny thing is, some of those guys thought they knew me…but they didn’t.  I wasn’t keeping the fact that I was the preacher a secret, I wouldn’t have acted any differently if they did know…they just didn’t ask.

The world lost a great gal this week.  She was the wife of the pastor who God used to bring me into cowboy ministry.  Her family as well as anyone else who knew her knows that she now has her reward in heaven for a life well lived.  But here’s something I didn’t know…she had a master’s degree.  While the preacher talked about her life, he mentioned she got her master’s degree long before I knew her…. and I thought to myself, “I didn’t know that.”

I had spent a lot of time with this great gal and her husband and I thought I knew them pretty well.  I do know them pretty well.  But not good enough to know that she had a master’s degree.  And I guarantee if I could ask this great woman today why she never told me she had a master’s degree she’d say, “You never asked.”

What about you?  How well do you know the people in your life?  One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that people like talkin’ about themselves.  Some more than others, but most people like sharing their knowledge, experiences, etc.  I met a guy from Kansas this week and come to find out, we knew a lot of the same people that rodeo from that part of the world.  If I wouldn’t have asked him where he was from, we wouldn’t have had that connection.  God brings folks into your life for a reason.  The better you get to know them, the easier it is to see those reasons.  Ask’em some questions… ya might find out something really cool and when you say, “How come you never told me that?”  They’ll probably answer with, “You didn’t ask.”

How good do you know Jesus Christ?  If you’ve given control of your life over to Him, that’s great.  But that ain’t all there is.  I can’t tell you how many guys I know who ask Christ into their lives and that’s it.  They figure, “Well, my soul is saved.  Me and Jesus are pards.  Guess that’s it.”

That ain’t it.  Your relationship with Jesus is just like any other relationship.  If you don’t try to get to know Him, you won’t.  And I ain’t sayin’ that means you won’t go to heaven.  That’s between you and God.  What I am sayin’ is that if you don’t work on gettin’ to know Him like He wants to know you, you’re dang sure missin’ out.  I don’t know you, but I know for a fact that God has plans for your life that you can’t even wrap your head around…yet.  He wants to do some awesome things, but until you get to know Him, it ain’t gonna happen.  Why?  ‘Cause you ain’t ready for it.

God only wants good things for every single one of us…but it’s up to us to get closer to Him so they can happen.  That doesn’t mean you won’t have an “ok” life if you ain’t constantly tryin’ to get closer to God.  You might even have what you think is a “great” life.  But when you die and stand in front of God, I believe he’ll show each and every one of us what the purpose of our life was….what we were created for…..what He wanted us to do in each and every situation and how that reaction would have caused other things to happen and on and on and on.

It’s up you.  You’ve got two choices.

Try every day to get closer to God….ask Him questions, read His word, talk to Him, spend time with Him, learn about Him.

Or, keep doing things on your own.  Keep God at a distance.  Only spend time with Him when you need something.

If you dropped dead today and had to stand in front of God to answer for what you did with the life He gave you (as we all will), what would He say?

Would He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Or would it sound more like this…..

“Let me show you what you could have had, what you could have done, what you could have accomplished….. let me show you the legacy you could have left on earth with the life I gave you.”

And when you ask Him, “Why didn’t you tell me, God?”

He’ll simply say, “You didn’t ask.”

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Mathew 7:7-8

 

Jake Hershey 7/29/12

In loving memory of Esther Smith

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