Written by Matthew Macaulay | ChattHOP Staff
I recently had a conversation with someone close to me, and they asked me a question that I found difficult to answer.
“What do you need?”
In that moment I realised that I’ve nearly always associated the word need with being demanding, life-sapping, taking. Essentially, being a needy person. I realised I perceive it to be nearly always a bad quality and one that I try to avoid. It’s rarely good to be described as needy and such individuals are often avoided in social contexts.
But the truth is that each one of us have many deep needs that need to be met every day; the need to be fed and watered, the need to be loved, the need to have hope, the need to experience rest, the need to be satisfied, the need to be healthy.
As I was having this conversation something dawned on me. Without acknowledging my needs each and every day, even to myself, I was not really living, just existing. I was just going through the motions of each day, checking the boxes and completing my lists. I was, in fact, robbing myself and those around me from finding life in meeting my needs and possibly having their own needs met at the same time.
All the way through the gospels we’re reminded of the many desperate and deep needs of individuals that found themselves existing — in situations and circumstances that they did not choose. We see that Jesus came to meet the needs of humanity in a real and profound way. He met people’s needs to walk, to have sight, to be free, for provision, for correction, to be fed, to find rest and to know peace - to name a few.
God even instructs us to ask him for the things that we need. I am not suggesting going to God with a list of material “needs” that might temporarily distract us from our deep needs, but I am suggesting for us to engage in real conversation with Him — telling him where we are experiencing lack or emptiness.
I love the way Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message (Matthew 7:7-12):
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.”
So I ask you again, what do you need?
When I was asked the question, it took me long periods of silence before I actually began to acknowledge my needs that existed and were very real. It’s okay to need. We all do, we always will. What if in meeting one another’s needs, all our needs are met?
So today, let your needs be known to those who love you and to a God that wants to meet you and answer you.