BY HANNAH BURNS
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
I have been accustomed to this verse since I was a child in Sunday school. I've known it my whole life, yet I've never really understood the magnitude of power it held. I simply thought, “Well if God wants it to happen, it will happen. Why do I need to ask for it?”
This thought was shattered last year when I was support raising for Elevate.
I went into support raising with a hopeful yet unexpectant heart. I wanted to believe God would come through and provide the money, but also didn’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t happen. As time went on, a few people sent in $20 or $50, and occasionally $100. But I continued to be doubtful as the deadline grew nearer and my amount due seemed to stay the same.
During this time, I felt like I was constantly praying and having people pray for me, but without seeing the Lord move. I was becoming hurt, frustrated, and even questioning whether God was listening at all.
It was two days before all the money was due and I still needed $1,200. With only $300 in my bank account at that time, I thought it was over. I drove to my friend Janelle’s apartment and broke down crying. I didn’t understand why God would get me so excited about something only to have it taken away. I had an angry heart toward God from unanswered prayers in the past, but I wouldn’t realize that until Elevate. Janelle comforted me and prayed for me but still I walked away accepting the fact I had to go to the Resonate office the next day to withdraw my application.
The next morning, I woke up to my normal routine of checking my phone. Still a little groggy, I opened a text from Janelle explaining how her sister out of the blue wanted to cover the amount needed for the rest of my trip. I didn’t believe it. The feeling of praise yet shame for my unbelief hit me all at once. I knew from that moment on God was always listening – He was going to move according to His plan and teach me how to trust Him along the way.
He had my attention after that. I knew God wanted me at Elevate for a reason and soon I was going to find out what those reasons were. God was teaching me how to trust Him through support raising and He continued teaching me all throughout a summer of deepening my faith at Elevate. Of course it was hard, but it’s when things get hard that you know God is about to do something big.
I fell in love with Elevate but not until after a couple weeks of fighting it. I still wanted to have control and hold onto my old ways. There were times I would forget about God's provision and just question why He brought me there in the first place, reminding myself of the Israelites when God brought them out of slavery and into the promised land only for them to forget His blessings along the way and want their bondage back because it was comfortable.
I wanted to run back to the life I was enslaved to at times because change is uncomfortable. God and the people around me were lovingly pushing me to grow. But sometimes growth is hard. God dug up a lot of past issues in my life that I had done a pretty good job of burying. I didn’t want to face the fact that I had held onto grudges, or ran to worldly things like partying and drinking to numb my hurt, or built up walls to keep people and God out. Thankfully He had been answering my prayers the entire time of wanting to grow closer to Him and my community. It didn’t look the way I thought it would and it wasn't as easy as I hoped it would be, but God had plans for me that included healing and building trust in Him again.
After Elevate, my eyes were open to the mission of loving and fighting for God and His people. I no longer want comfort but a life of unpredictability with God in control. I’m still learning every day what that looks like, but with everything I was able to take away from Elevate and the process of support raising, I know when I pray that God listens. He will continue to be faithful even when I am weak because that is the God I serve.
I am currently support raising again for a mission trip that requires even more than Elevate, but I know now when Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you,” He wasn’t joking. I encourage everyone support raising right now to stay faithful in prayer and know that a God who loves you and wants the best for you – better than anything you could imagine – will provide.
If you connected with this story and want to speak with someone about it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.