“I’m jealous, Lord,” I confess in a mourning voice, “of what others have. It wouldn’t be so bad,” I continue, “if I didn’t seem to have so little myself…” I pause as my wandering glance is arrested by several reasons for thanksgiving peaking out at me, daring me to be honest about what God has given me.
I try, but cannot address those things in words; rather, I hope that gratitude will be a whisper He hears from the recesses of my heart. How I need Him to listen carefully, I think to myself. Otherwise it would be a disaster: He could misunderstand my words for those of a grasping child who recognizes none of His faithfulness. He could become fed up with me and turn away from me forever.
Not completely over my fear, I am forced to continue the emptying of my soul. The potency of my feelings will allow me no other recourse. “Daddy, it’s just that I was having such a hard time being content as it was, and then–tada–there is my nemesis with more than me in just the places that I was hoping You would finally decide to bless me.
“I try to put it out of my mind; to be grateful in spite of this, but…I can’t take it! Why would You double things up on me like this? I thought You had mercy on Your children. But this feels more like I’m being squished–and quite on purpose! Please explain Yourself, Lord.”
And then His answer to my pleas falls upon me like a blanket of silent snow. Each word communicates that He is still here with me–whatever my condition and whatever imagination I lack regarding the benefits of His grace:
I do not have to explain Myself to you. All you need is for Me to give Myself to you, to reveal Myself in mystery; to captive your heart with healing that transcends the trials I’m using to show your need for Me to be these things to you.
You do not need change, My child; you need patience that waits upon Love with confidence which no circumstances can shift or shortchange. That’s what you need and I am giving it to you.
I don’t understand why my life has had to remain unpredictable and unstable for this long, Lord. I thought walking with You would give me good reason to hope and grow in expecting good things. But, God, I don’t understand: Have the good things I am waiting for gotten lost; have the good things I used to know fled to never return? God, I’m trying to make sense of what You’re doing but, instead, all I can make sense of is how I feel closed off from all the things that used to make my life seem so sweetly perfumed with Your love. Please, give me some imagination: I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do with myself in the absence of so much blessing.
Wake me up, Father, to Your goodness to me in this day. May I not be so wrapped up in what I loved about yesterday that I am not able to fully appreciate what it means to have you with Me in in every moment of my now. God, I cannot cultivate a heart like this, but You can show Your glory in doing this in me.
Father, this is Your day that You have appointed. You have control over it and You alone. It is not for me to tell You what You should do with it, or how You should use it to benefit me. It is first and foremost designed to bring glory and satisfaction to You. It is filled with pressure so that I may be driven close to You; it is not sheltered from pain or confusion so that it may be at Your breast that I receive the comfort that I equate with Life. Only You know how this can be done and yet no day does it fail to happen. You and Your mercies are all over my life. That is all that must be said, all that must be so. Amen.
You have cleansed and purified my heart with hope, not because I desired it, but because You would put Your generosity on display in my life. You would let nothing conquer Your Love’s work in my heart. The inner sanctuary of my being You have made Your home and no one can trespass Your dwelling without Your word. Oh, thank You, Father, that You would treat me with such deference and care! There is nothing of my needs You do not take notice of and make provision for in the outpouring of Your glory. Tenderness has not been far from You, but joy-giving has been Your trade concerning me. Oh, I am a child well-fed and delighted-in beyond measure! What father or mother can match Your dedication, your remembering of me? None can equal Your praise.
If you find yourself longing to be cared for today, if your weaknesses cause you to fear that love has fled from your way, come cuddle up in the lap of your Savior. He knows what care looks like and He has been enacting this gift toward undeserving and guilt-ridden sinners for millennia. You will be safe in His arms; you will be made strong under His gaze and according to the Truth of His words.
You can do this–you can take your place in Him–because He reserved it for you. No one can take it away from you, but only you can decide to accept it and enjoy it. God wants you to be there and now He waits. Just say yes and let Him lead you in the rest.
Where are You today, God? What occupies Your mind concerning me? Do I make Your Top Ten list of important thoughts and interests? What do You make of me and how can I know what that is?
Have you ever asked God these questions? If not, it’s about time you have. These are important things for you to know. Too important, for you to try to get along without. Don’t let fear or pride get in the way of letting God spill out the contents of His unfailing love within your heart. He’s anxious to do so–won’t you let Him?