A looong time coming . . .
I'm reading this book by John Elderidge about Desire, it's about searching for the life you've only ever dreamed of. There are two words that for me, describe Elderidge's work perfectly, insightful and humble. While reading this book it's actually been book imitating life, or vice versa.
For a couple of months life hasn't been going my way. I won't bore you with the particulars but it's been an uphill climb for a while, and I've been struggling with every step. Just like everything in the world my emotions through this time have come around like a process. It's like I know how I'll react before I even finish with the trial.
First, I'm fine. Upbeat even. Then there's acceptance, complacency, hope, complacency again and finally there's anger - at God. The last couple of weeks have been filled with me barely talking to Him and feeling guilty about it and then being angry at Him because He won't talk to me. But then I ask myself if He did talk would I listen? Unless there were a parting from the clouds and a booming voice that called out my name, probably not. And even then I'd probably ask for backup evidence. Apparently I need help with the whole faith thing.
That's why my God. My Savior. My Friend and Redeemer decided to reach me through a book. Mr. Elderidges' book. I woke up in the morning and after making some coffee decided to lay back and read some of the book.
Elderidge was writing about how sometimes it feels as if God is our enemy, how all the plans we make for ourselves are thwarted. And then he gave instances in which we would feel that, like not being able to find a job or a mate etc. And every one of the instances he provided was something I'm struggling with right now. Points of contention between God and I. And I knew. I KNEW. That God was speaking to me. Through the pages of a book that wasn't even the Bible.
And what I realized is this: We humans desire SO many things. Whether it's relational things or material things, whatever. And as the book says we supplant those desires with things that we think will fill us but never will. So in order to save us from empty lives God stands in the way sometimes of what we supposedly want so that we can realize that what we truly want will always be ours, A life with God. Now, I am a firm believer in God giving you things you want. Whether it be wisdom, or battle victories whatever it is God, as your Father He wants to please you.
But when we are separated from God we can't see Him through the filmy confusion of our desires. But once we are connected to God we see Him. Our focus isn't on what we want because He assures us we will have everything, "Ask and you will recieve." Our focus is on God and He, as cliche as it might sound, is our everything.
Besides, all the things we want, all the blessings and gifts we yearn to recieve, how much better to recieve it when we've been looking to God to satisfy everything. We aren't weary from trying to accomplish things ourselves, because we've been too focused looking at God.
So don't deny yourself desires. That is exactly the opposite of what Jesus preached when He came down to earth. He wants us to desire what the world says is impossible, streets of gold, travels across the universe, mansions prepared by the Master Architect. And yet, He will meet your earthly desires just because He loves you THAT much. Just look to Him to fulfill you and lavish you with wonderful things, don't try to do it yourself.
"Thy hand unloved its pleasure must restrain,
Nor spoil both gift and child by lavishing too soon."