This last holiday we had a houseful (8 adults and 4 little people). Our home was bursting with joy-filled squeals, scattered toys and the song “baby shark” repeatedly playing in the background! (And yes, it took weeks for that song to leave my head!)
Throughout the week my adult kids frequently asked some form of this question. “How can I help mom? “ or “What can I do?” It was such a relief to know that I didn’t have to make a meal or clean up on my own.
Recently, I hosted a retreat in my home and the women also asked, “What can I do for you?” We lived together for 3 days so to have assistance was life giving.
In both instances, I felt loved to be on the receiving end of such care and concern.
Sometimes, it’s challenging to accept this kind of thoughtfulness. We long for it, but when it arrives we can feel uneasy.
Some of us grew up with giving as a natural outflow of our love for others. Our hearts are tuned-in to the needs of those around us. Others were thrown into taking care of those around them due to illness or an unavailable parent. Whether it’s open handedly given or an obligation, giving or doing becomes a way of life.
Life is full of things needing to be done and obligations to meet. What a relief it is when someone notices that we need something.
God notices too.
He notices that you and I have needs. Jesus asks this question in a few distinct yet similar ways,
“What can I do for you?” Matthew 20:32 TPT,
“What do you want me to do for you?” Matthew 20:32 NIV,
“What do you want from Me?” Mark 10: 51
Jesus saw and heard the needs of the men. Each man knew exactly what he wanted and needed from Jesus.
If Jesus asked you….yes, you, “What do you want?” How would you answer him? Take a breath, pause and answer Him. Let’s take this a little deeper. Imagine Jesus in your home, right now with you. He notices the laundry that needs folding, the needed oil change for your car, the missed deadline at work and anxiety you have with its lack of completion. He also knows your kids need a bath and…… you’re lonely!
What if He turned to you and asked, “ What can I do for you?” How would you answer Him?
Take a moment and be with Jesus.
· What do you notice? What do you feel?
· Where is He in your home? What is He noticing about your life?
· What do you see on his face?
Some days the answer to this question is incredibly clear. Practical, hands-on help is what’s required. At other times, the question may stop you dead in your tracks of multitasking. You may have no idea what you want.
What do you want?
What if God is also asking a more reflective question? What if he’s curious about you and your deepest desires. It could be, He’s inviting you into an abundant relationship with him by asking this question.
For the last 4 months in my prayer time God is asking, “What is it you want?” Sometimes it’s very clear to me what I need and other times I pause, wait and search my heart. I dig a little deeper into what I truly want.
“I want to resolve the conflict with my daughter.”
“I want my friends illness to be healed.”
“ I want to have a blast on vacation with my husband!”
These are all longings, desires and needs of my heart. There is nothing wrong with these answers and I’m grateful that God has answered each one of these “wants”.
I’m also being invited to listen more deeply to my answers and notice any emerging themes. I notice in those 3 “wants” that they are all relationally based as I place high value on my relationships.
As I continue to pay attention to my heart and God, I notice a thirst for more of God. As I hangout with Him and accept his invitation for help, my cup becomes full. It overflows with gratitude, love and hope. Out of that abundance I’m inspired to think of others and what they may need.
Jesus knows our needs before we do. When Jesus asks this question, “What do you want?”, he’s letting us know how important we are to him. He takes the time to ask AND waits to hear what we have to say.
In addition to knowing how deeply he loves us, Jesus wants us to recognize our need and love for Him. His lavish love towards us generates love and care for others.
How to make this practical in your life
Start by accepting God’s interest in you. This one question could change your life forever.
He wants to know, “What do you want from me?”
· For the next 14 days take 5 minutes a day and spend time with this question.
· At the end of the 14 days look back and see if any themes emerging.
· What is different in your life since you’ve spent time with Jesus and heard him ask YOU, “What do you want me to do for you?”
As you spend intimate time with God and this powerful question, I would love to hear what is happening for you. Leave comments below of email them privately to firstname.lastname@example.org