“If you knew the gift of God,” Jesus said, “you would have asked…”
My friend Krispin Mayfield tweeted recently:
For most of my life, faith was a huge source of anxiety. Attachment science was SO helpful because it showed me that if you’re given terms of relationship that make you solely responsible for connection, your nervous system responds with anxiety.
Krispin’s framing of this helped me name a massive paradigm shift in my faith over the last 15-20 years. I realized that I really did think of myself as solely responsible for my connection with God. “If you feel far away from God,” the saying went, “it isn’t God who moved.”
This created in my body an “anxious attachment” to God, where I perceived God to be indifferent about connecting with me, so if I wanted connection with God, I was solely responsible to cultivate and maintain it.
But this isn’t how it is with God. Not really. “If you knew the gift of God,” Jesus says to a woman at a well in Samaria, “and who it is that is speaking to you, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
If you understood how ready God is to lavish goodness on anyone who wants it, if you only knew the extravagant lengths God has gone to in order to make this goodness available to you, if you could take in even a glimpse of the width and length and height and depth of the love of Christ… you would ask.
You would ask for everything you need, trusting the goodness of the God you ask, and you would receive: the Holy Spirit, and living water that becomes an ever-flowing spring, welling up continually, renewing you as you partake of the life of the age to come.