Shaquille O'Neal raised a few eyebrows earlier this year when he shared a true story about blessing a young lady in a restaurant. She was the waitress who served him and his party that night. And when she brought him the bill, he asked what she wanted for a tip. The young lady responded with a bold request: $4,000. When she told him, Shaq responded, "Okay, no problem." And he then proceeded to pay her $4,000! Filled with gratitude, she said, "You just paid my rent for two months."
What an amazing story! She was willing to make a big request. And he was willing to come through with a kind response.
When I read that story, I thought about this verse in James 4:2 - "You do not have because you do not ask God." It was there the half-brother Jesus explained that we miss out on some things in life because we have hesitated to make our requests known to God. It's a simple principle that really does make sense.
Now it is important to be wise with this principle. This does not mean that God is an ATM machine who throws cash at us whenever we ask. And it does not mean that God is a genie in a lamp that exists for the sole purpose of granting our wishes. But God is a loving Heavenly Father who cares about His children, and He can more than provide for them. After all, He owns it all, and He has the resources necessary to bless those who call out to Him in prayer. That's how awesome our God is.
What are your needs? Maybe there's something you are lacking physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, professionally, financially, or spiritually. Whatever it is, try this: Talk to God about your needs. Be real with Him. Be specific with Him. Tell God what you think and how you feel. He wants you to be yourself and cry out to Him with faith about what is really going on in your life.
God cares about what you and I experience in our lives. Also, He can come through for us in countless ways if we will simply ask Him in prayer and believe He's capable of meeting our needs. He is the kind of Father who delights in taking care of His children. That's what Jesus had in mind when He said the following in Matthew 7:11 - "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him."
Shaq blessed that young lady when she asked. What an incredible display of generosity. And just think: God can give far greater gifts and change way more lives than anyone else can. That's just one more proof that our God is a good Father.