Take What You Need

Every so often while walking to class, I encounter a particular type of announcement tacked to a campus bulletin board.  There's nothing special about the appearance of these signs -- just standard 8x11" papers printed in black and white -- but there's something special about the concept.

Each sign invites you to take a compliment.  I imagine people tearing off a tab and then tucking the slip of paper in their pocket, placing it in their wallet, or passing it to a discouraged friend.

I've seen similar signs offering "Take What You Need," followed by a litany of helpful characteristics (courage, patience, love, hope, or strength) hanging at the bottom of the page, just waiting for a needy passersby to tear one off, as if arming themselves with that attribute.

I can't recall ever passing one without at least one tab ripped off.  Encouragement is a legitimate need.

Nearly every time I encounter these signs, I think about the concept of "taking what I need" in life from a perspective of faith.  What if these qualities are always waiting for me and I just have to take action and grab them?

Rather than fretting about decisions or worrying whether my strength will be sufficient for a looming task, what if I immediately remembered that I have a source of wisdom and strength at my disposal?  What if I asked God for the things He promises -- whether peace, belonging, forgiveness, or whatever else I need at the moment -- and then figuratively tear off that tab, taking what I need right from the start, not as a last resort after I tried to figure my predicament out on my own?

What if I took the verse, "You have not because you ask not," at its word and started asking, really asking?

Perhaps God has more in store for us and He's simply waiting for us to ask and take what we need. (He's offering, after all.)

Today, let's go ahead and ask.  Then let's dare to reach out and take what we need.

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