Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Good things."

A few weeks ago, a good friend and I were talking about how much God has taught us about joy through sorrow and loss. Neither of us has really suffered--not compared to so many others in the world. But some of the greatest lessons we've each learned about God's faithfulness has come in our emptiest times of life.

But she said something else to me. She said she felt like God wanted her to share with me that "He wants to give you good things."

God wants to give you good things. I've been thinking about that, letting the phrase run through my mind, wondering how it could possibly relate to my current concerns and struggles. It didn't even hit me when she first said it. I didn't think, "Wow, I needed to hear that." But here I am, still processing it three weeks later.

I often wonder if God leaves me empty so that I will know fully that true satisfaction only comes through Him. "Let me not be so satisfied that I seek not the Bread of Life." Oh, I know that so well. I don't have to deliberately sacrifice anything in order for Him to show me my how deficient I am and how much I need Him. I am so aware of it every single day.

But I also know that God loves me. I know it and I agree: He does want to give me good things. I walk the path He has laid out before me and I know I will encounter blessings that He has placed along the way.

The problem comes when I begin to seek after those good things. Nothing is good out of its proper, God-placed context. It seems like a paradox: I begin to look for the good things and they disappear; I keep my eyes on Him and the good things come in abundance.

And the funny thing is that those "good things" are probably not what I expected at all. Not at all. I discovered that last summer...and then so much in the past six months. But His goodness is so much better than what I think I could get for myself. He will strip me of all that I love and want and think I need and still, He will use me for His purposes. Oh, and in that I find the truest satisfaction.

Is everything a lesson in faith then? An exercise of trust and reliance upon Him to satisfy? NO. It's nothing like that. It's not about wanting Him to satisfy me, but learning that His purposes go beyond my wants and needs. He does not merely want to "give me good things." He wants me to walk according to the path that is His holy and perfect will and to discover His goodness, His beauty and mercy and constancy.

No expectations, but so much hope. I don't need to be reminded of the good things coming. I will keep my focus on letting Him use me for His glory and in that I find my true Great and Endless Need is satisfied.

1 comment:

  1. I really loved walking through the snow with you on Sunday. THAT was a good thing for me.