I need to stop needing what I want and start wanting what I need. There is a difference, you know. I haven't thought much about this for a while until it started becoming the theme and message of so many of my conversations lately.
God's timing is funny. I think partially because He has a sense of humor, but I also think it's funny to us because we never truly can see the whole timeline. Our lives really are such a tiny blip on the timeline of eternity.
Have you ever wanted something so badly that it's all you can think about? Maybe when you were little it was a toy, and you asked for it at every birthday and holiday for years. Maybe when you got a little older it was something less tangible, like doing well in school or being well-liked. Maybe it was a person. Someone you so badly wanted approval or friendship or love from.
When we let these desires overtake us --these wants-- we start to think we NEED them.
I've been there. I'm sure you have too. My prayers started to sound like, "Lord, I NEED this person in my life. I know you want to give your children good gifts, so what's taking so long with this one?"
Here's where I was super wrong. You weren't the slow on in these scenarios. I wasn't the one waiting. It was and is the exact opposite!
There's a verse in 2 Peter that talks about this. It says that God isn't slow at fulfilling His promises, rather He is patiently waiting on us to repent, to turn to Him, and in this case, to stop thinking we need all these things that we really just want.
What God knows that I didn't is that the person I so desperately needed to notice me, the grade I so desperately needed to get, the approval I absolutely needed to achieve --none of that can fulfill me. It can't fulfill you either. Why? Because none of those things are needs. They are all wants. Wanting them isn't itself bad, but wanting them so badly that we confused them for things we need and that our desire for them outweighs our desire for the Lord and His plans for us? That can leave us feeling completely empty and unsatisfied.
God wants us to NEED Him and just want all those other things.
The funny thing is, it seems like the moment we stop needing those things and become fully satisfied in the Lord and what He is doing in our lives, He gives us the things we've been wanting.
The Lord does want to give us good gifts, and He does all the time. But the greatest gift we could ever receive is one He has already given to us, the ability to have a personal relationship with Him. THAT is something we really need that we should all start wanting a little bit more.