Jesus said, Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. -Mark 11:23-24
This is a story of a time when God challenged me to ask him for something I thought was impossible believing it could happen anyway. I was newly engaged. My fiancé had saved up, sold his PS3, and slaved to buy me a ring. His mom had been holding on to the center diamond for years for the day when her son might want to use it to give to his future wife.
One day I forgot to leave my ring at home when taking a trip to swim in the Colorado River. We walked along the beach upriver from where we had set up camp and jumped into the river to float back down. We repeated this ritual several times until lunchtime. As I was taking a bite of my sandwich, I looked down at my ring-less left hand. I froze. I knew that my ring was now sitting at the bottom of the river.
I immediately panicked. My fiancé insisted that we go look for the ring in the water upriver where we had been jumping in. I dragged myself along with him, bawling, knowing that it would take a miracle to find the ring in the black mud that seemed to absorb all it touched instantly. We waded into the strong current until we were in water up to our waists. Somewhere in the back of my mind a small nudge to pray began. The rest of my mind roared in a wave of doubt, protesting such an impossible thought. Surely this isn’t what He meant when Jesus told us to pray. A million insecurities raged war: Who was I to ask for something like this? Isn’t this prayer too selfish? Why should God care about something so materialistic?
But the thought as still and steady as stone just got louder, “Pray. Ask God for the ring.” The logical part of me balked. “But I shouldn’t pray for something without believing it will happen, and I have zero hope at this point. I just don’t have enough faith,” I thought.
“You only need a mustard seed.” I stood still and let that sink in.
I can’t quite explain what happened next. I just looked up and with the tiniest little squeak of faith I mustered up just one word, “God?” In the next moment Blake exclaimed, “THERE IT IS!” I. Kid. You. Not. He dove down slowly and came up with a handful of sand and my ring.
As I write this, my beloved ring is gleaming off my left hand. I may not always receive everything I ask for, but I can ask.