Have you ever wanted something SO MUCH you would do ANYTHING to get it? You dreamt about it, worried about it, begged for it, cried over it, lost sleep over it, drooled over it, chased after it, knowing that if you just GOT WHAT YOU WANTED everything would then be more than hunky dory, everything would be PERFECT? Have you ever bargained with God? Promises such as “God if you just give me this,” or “do this for me-” often end with “-then I’ll never ask for anything again,” or “I’ll promise to tell everyone You answered my prayers and make sure to give You all the glory and honor!” – I mean, that sounds like a pretty fair bargain, right? Afterall, most of the things we are asking for aren’t even bad, in fact, a lot of them are good things that can even be used for good…
My son’s class was raising money for their senior trip and the holiday they were given to fundraise for was Valentine’s Day. He was supposed to bring in a couple bags of candy without nuts or peanut butter and I promptly forgot that important part when I happened across PINK heart shaped Reese’s cups. Hello there beautiful. I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet you! And for anyone out there wondering, yes, I did buy myself a bag because I believe it is important to be informed about candy I’m donating to the school. Anyways, I couldn’t help but take a bit of a stroll down memory lane to when I was in high school (which honestly, is starting to become a bit longer than a stroll and even a 5k but closer to a marathon - yikes) and when Valentine’s Day celebrations came. Our school made these flowers out of Hershey’s kisses wrapped in red cellophane and everyone would buy them for each other, except… I never got one! Surely there was a mix up right? I mean I literally watched half a dozen girls walk around with an entire bouquet of those candy flowers and you know what? THEY DIDN’T EVEN LIKE CHOCOLATE! What a waste! I felt a little lonely that day. A little invisible. Maybe even a little insignificant. (Listen Linda, don’t roll your eyes, I was 14…and it was a new school…and I like chocolate).
I think one of the things most of us have pleaded or will plead with God over and for is love. Here’s the thing, we don’t plead for His love, we plead for the love of others… the acceptance of others…the fulfillment we think others can bring into our lives. And often we are so laser-focused on that love we so desire, that we miss on receiving a love that knows no end. That will never dim, never make you feel lonely or invisible, and a love that runs so deep that the King of Kings sent His Son to die for YOU – there is no such thing as an insignificant soul. Oh, sweet friend, you could never be insignificant – Jesus died for you. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” You wanna know the crazy part? You don’t have to beg or plead for Jesus to love you. He already does. Jesus desires to be your One and Only because only He can fulfill that empty spot in your heart. Only He will never let you down or forsake you. Only Jesus. Always, Only Jesus.
There have been times throughout my life, and I am sure there will be times in the future, where I have and will face the rejection of man. However, that does not mean that I am alone. I know that I am never alone. Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Never lonely, Always, Only Jesus.
…it is ok to want and desire certain things in life, including love, you enter difficult waters when that desire takes the place of your desire to chase after your Savior. We are really good at making excuses, coming up with reasons for why we do the things we know we shouldn’t do, and following paths that we know weren’t meant for us, especially when we take our eyes off of our Savior and look at what the world says we should desire. Seth and I have been house-hunting for over a year. Trust me when I say, there has been some begging, bargaining, and pleading…also some tears and fits and questions…but more importantly a deep, abiding trust that God has not forgotten us, knows exactly what we need, and wants us to trust in Him. So, we are getting out of our own way, and letting God move. Get out of your own way, if you say you trust God, then give Him complete and total control, remember to keep your eyes open, because it is gonna be a wild ride full of lessons and blessins.’ Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – hopefully straight to my new home… o dear, I’m doing it again.
Read: Ephesians 1:7-10
Consider: God has a purpose and plan for each of our lives. 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” What is so exciting about God’s plan for our lives? It offers us a hope and a future – spent with our Creator! The One who knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us more than we can comprehend! Jeremiah 32:19a, “Great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man.” The Christian is called to be the light (Matthew 5:16), to go and share the good news (Mark 16:15-16), and to do work - that’s right Christian, it’s time to get to work (Colossians 3:23).
What kinds of plans have you created that have been part of the overall story of God’s redemption and restoration of this world?
Psalm 57:2, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” I love my Savior and desire to serve Him all of my days. My story would be rather unremarkable if not for Christ. He has taken these empty hands of mine and allowed me to use them to serve others. He has taken these stumbling, often clumsy feet of mine, and given me a race to run. He has taken this heart of mine, breathed life into it, and it beats strong for Him. Psalm 40:3, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” God has taken this average woman, and allowed her to be a part of a remarkable story – a story that points others to the goodness, mercy, grace, forgiveness, righteousness, justice, and love of God. Isaiah 40:28, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable,” Mine is a story that never, ever ends. A story where each chapter points to the goodness of God. A story with the real-deal happily ever after. Psalm 143:8, “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” My story would maybe even be titled: “Not So Lonely Afterall.”
To-Do: What kinds of plans have you created that have been part of the overall story of God’s redemption and restoration of this world? Instead of bargaining with God, what steps can you take to trust His timing and leading in your life?
Photo Credit: Mac McDonald