Recently I decided that I wanted a new travel mug to have with me at work. I had decided I wanted a ceramic travel mug because while I didn’t want an actual travel mug, I did want something with a lid so that I wouldn’t accidentally spill coffee on my desk (because knowing the klutz that I am, it would almost certainly happen). I wasn’t having a lot of luck finding what I wanted in any stores I looked in, so I decided to Google ceramic travel mugs and see what came up. The first hit was for a mug on Etsy, so I decided to look around there.
Now, I’ve long avoided spending any time on Etsy because I knew I would probably end up wanting to buy a lot if I ever really looked at anything on the site. However, I loved the idea of being able to find a mug that would be handmade and one of a kind. I also loved that I would be supporting an individual artist by purchasing through Etsy, not a huge corporation.
I spent some time looking around the site and found a couple mugs I liked, but none that really stood out to me. Then I noticed the profile picture of one of the sellers whose mugs I had liked. The glaze was green, with a darker blue/green along the top and the bottom. I loved it immediately, but it was not listed anywhere on her seller page. I assumed this meant that it was not for sale; possibly she had already sold that item or wasn’t making any more like it. I continued looking through the other options. After an hour or so I still hadn’t found anything else and I had gone back and looked at that blue/green mug several more times.
Finally, after I had looked at every other mug on the site (and quite a few other non-related items) I decided there just wasn’t anything else that I liked nearly as much as that green mug. So I decided I would contact the seller and ask her about it. The worst that could happen is she would tell me it sold, but maybe there was a chance she had one and just hadn’t listed it. Either way, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
Later that afternoon I got a response from the seller telling me that she had planned on listing that mug that afternoon, and if I liked she could put a reserve on it for me. Naturally I responded yes, and that night when I checked back she had listed it as reserved for me, so I immediately ordered it. As I crawled into bed I randomly thought about how I was glad I had taken the chance and asked her about it.
As soon as that thought popped into my head, another followed it:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8)
God wants to supply us with anything we may need or want, all we have to do is ask. For some reason, he chose to use my new mug to help remind me of this fact.
Now some of you, if you’re anything like me, may be thinking, “But I’ve been asking. Repeatedly.” And this is probably true. I know it’s true for me. But perhaps, if we’ve been asking for something and it doesn’t seem like God is granting that request then maybe we need to stop and ask ourselves if the question we’ve been asking is the right one. Maybe what we’ve been asking for is not in line with God’s plan for our lives, therefore he is not inclined to grant that request … at least not in the way we hope. “No” may not be the answer we hope for when we ask him for something, but it is an answer. And if He says no when we ask for something, it’s probably not because He just doesn’t want us to have it; more than likely He has something even better in mind for us.
This is a lesson that is easy forget, though it’s an important one to remember. I know I need to be reminded frequently. Now I’ll have my mug as a tangible reminder whenever I forget.