Jacob stretched his arm as high he could. He even got on his tiptoes, but he couldn't quite reach the handle on the upper cabinet.
"What's up, Jacob?" Mr. Danes rose from the living room chair where he'd been reading the paper and looked around the corner into the kitchen.
Jacob looked up at the cupboard and then into his dad's eyes. "Could you get the potato chips?"
"Sure." His dad reached up, opened the cabinet, and grabbed the bag, handing it to Jacob.
"Thanks, Dad." Jacob sat down at the kitchen table and tore open the bag. He started munching as he read a magazine and drank from a tall glass of milk.
As he finished the last article, Jacob remembered that he had homework to do. He put the magazine in the recycle pile and his empty glass in the sink. After looking back at the table, he glanced into the living room, where his dad was reading the paper.
Jacob grabbed the chips off the table and stood by the cupboard. He tried again to reach the handle - he even jumped up, but still couldn't get it open. Stepping back, he tried a running leap, but banged his head on the lower cabinet door, spilling the chips on the floor.
His dad got up from his chair and entered the kitchen.
"Are you okay?"
The boy rubbed his head. "I think so."
Jacob lowered his eyes. "I was trying to put the chips away and I bumped my head and dropped them instead."
Mr. Danes tousled Jacob's hair.
"It's okay. Let's just clean it up."
As Jacob picked up the chips and put them in the trash, Mr. Danes tapped him on the shoulder.
"Why didn't you just ask me for help? I would have been happy to put them away for you."
Jacob shrugged. "I didn't want to bother you - you looked busy."
His father smiled. "I'm never too busy to help you out, Jacob. Don't be afraid to ask me to help, especially when it's something you know you can't do."
Mr. Danes swept up the last of the crumbs while Jacob held the dustpan.
"You know, Son, it's the same with God." Mr. Danes held the trash can open. "Sometimes we feel like we're bothering Him when we pray, that He has more important things to do than to listen to our requests."
Jacob nodded. He remembered skinning his knee the other day. It had hurt, but he didn't ask God to make it feel better because he figured it wasn't that important.
"But, do you know what, Jacob? God doesn't want us to be shy about talking to Him. He wants us to pray to him boldly, to ask for whatever we feel we need. He may not answer exactly how we'd like, but He always loves to listen to us pray to Him."
He smiled. "So, just like I should have asked you to help me put the chips away, I should ask God to help me too, even if I've been asking and asking and asking?"
His dad nodded. "That's right. Besides, God loves you even more than I do. Do you think He would really ever get tired of listening to you?"
Jacob smiled. "I guess not."
"So, the next time you want to ask for something from God, just do it boldly." Mr. Danes patted Jacob on the back. "Don't be afraid of bothering or interrupting Him. Just ask."
"Oh, and the next time you want the potato chips down, do the same with me. Okay?"
Jacob giggled. "Okay."
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NIV
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18
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