I want so badly to be content with where I am right now – but I am finding it so hard. I know in my heart that this is a good place that God has me right now but it’s just hard to soak in the goodness of all that is when I’m so focused on all that could be. There are so many desires in my heart right now… and… well… I want those things! How do I balance all that is within me with all that is around me? How do I balance my desires with real life?
It’s so funny because I’ve been trying to figure this all out for some time now and it seems as though God answered my question through another question. I’m a youth leader and last night at youth group I was sharing a little about distractions when one of the girls asked me, “Can a good thing be a distraction?” As God gave me the words to answer her I felt like He was truly just answering me. I shared with her how easy it is to take something that is good in and of itself and put it in a place where it does not belong… therefore making it a negative thing in our lives. I then shared with her how oftentimes it is harder to let go of a good thing that is distracting us because it’s well… good. As I was speaking I realized that it wasn’t for her… it was for me.
This is where I’m at right now. I have desires in my heart that are not bad and I truly believe that God has placed them in my heart – BUT – I have elevated those things to a place in my heart which they do not belong. I have made some of my hopes, my everything.
I am learning that God sometimes plants desires in our hearts because He loves for us to wait expectantly for the good things that He will do. But that is the key… waiting. Just look at the story of Abraham and Sarah for the perfect example. In Genesis chapter 15 God spoke great and amazing things into Abraham’s heart. He showed Abraham the stars and told him that would be the number of his descendants. Wow! What a promise for someone who then had NO children!
I’m sure after a vision like that Abraham went away and never thought about it again… NOT! Instead, I expect that every day, in every mundane task, Abraham dreamed and tried to wrap his mind around this awesome and great thing that God had planted in his heart. Listen: there is nothing wrong with dreaming! There is nothing wrong with hoping! BUT often times the vastness of our dreams cause us to lose sight of the goodness of today. Therein lies the problem.
Often we grow tired of waiting and try to make our dreams happen right now. Look at Abraham and Sarah again; there is no doubt that they had a good desire. They wanted a baby that GOD had promised them. But they got to the point where they refused to wait any longer for God to move. They got to the point where they stopped dreaming in wonder about all that God showed them could be, and instead decided that they would determine what should be. They stopped waiting. In Genesis chapter 16 they took things into their own hands and it doesn’t end well. Yes God brought restoration into the situation but in that Old Testament story we learn a wondrous fact: human hands can never ever duplicate the work of God in our lives.
I believe that today there are many good and right desires in my heart and in yours. Maybe there is a desire in our hearts to be a husband or a wife, a parent, a minister, a missionary… or whatever else. A desire so strong we cannot contain it. A desire so strong it seems almost impossible for us to wait any longer for it to be fulfilled. How do we handle this?
Firstly, I believe that if it is a desire that was in fact placed on our hearts by the Lord then it wasn’t intended to be contained. I believe that God wants us to pour that desire back into His heart through prayer – committing it to Him. I am learning – slowly – to just be real with God in prayer. He wants me to talk to Him about the desires in my heart. All of them. I know guys, it’s hard! It’s so much easier for me to come to God about desires in my heart for say, ministry, because those just feel like “uber spiritual”, right desires. It’s easy for me to talk to Him about the vision and desire I have for our Girl’s Ministry or Youth Group… but when it comes to my heart. Oh boy, when it comes to my heart! When I try to talk to God about all things heart flutters + love I usually get to a line that sounds something like this, “God, there is a reason why I stalk ________ on Twitter. He’s just so godly and perfect!!!” And then I hear what I’m saying and feel dumb and I quit.
But I am truly learning that just as much as God wants to hear about my “uber spiritual” desires, He also wants to hear about the straight up, real, “dumb” desires of my heart. He cares. He knows anyway so I might as well just talk to Him about it! And at least when I bring those desires to God He can help me sort through them and show me which ones are of Him and which ones are not.
Secondly, I believe that God wants us to dream. I believe that God told Abraham and Sarah that He was going to give them a child years before it happened so that they could dream and learn to wait on God for the fulfillment of that dream. If you ladies (or guys) are anything like me then you are already dreamers. You have hopes of beautiful, God-pleasing things for your future. I believe that God desires for us to revel in the goodness of all that He could do all the while being faithful to where He has us right now – knowing that it is Him who decides if and when He should do it. It’s all about having the right desires with the right perspective.
Remember that God withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 86:11). If a desire in our heart is truly good then we can trust that He will do it… in His time. We can wait expectantly for good things!!!
“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.”