As humans we all have wants and desires. In fact, having them can be healthy! God plants a dream in your heart and we go to work to make it a reality. We constantly hear “without vision, people perish.” Bu when does having a desire become unhealthy? When does having a dream turn in to “deserving” a dream? How much time is the right amount of time to “wait” or “struggle”? It appears that so many of us get weary in well doing because we think we’ve “done our time” and then – impatience sets in.
It’s fairly easy to present a case and say “Hey, I think I waited long enough to get married, to get a promotion, to receiving the healing, or to get my big break (like so and so had of course). Or as in my case, the child I have been praying for.
I shared our struggles with conceiving for the first time a year ago and the response from community I received was a beautiful display of human connection. And How movie-like would it have been to say “hey, I poured my heart out at the end 2018 by sharing my struggle in the most heart wrenching, vulnerable way this time last year… and wouldn’t you know it, God showed up and it all changed just like I hoped!”
It didn’t. What’s interesting is I found myself saying,“it’s not fair”
But what is fair? And why do we believe we are entitled to have things be fair. Why do we as humans constantly seek fairness, and have this preconceived notion of what is and isn’t “fair”? And why does it seem that the more we look at everyone else’s highlight reel, the more we create this false sense of “fairness” in our mind. We’ve all been there, we’ve all felt it, but not many know that this type of thinking is a form of entitlement, and will quickly turn into resentment if we don’t become aware of it.
I now realize, in these moments, there is a choice presented to me.
I can give into my belief that I deserve whatever I desire, and respond out of jealousy and anger. Or, I can place those desires aside, and choose to operate in gratitude and be thankful for what I DO have.
I didn’t want to do that, (and I don’t most the time), but because it has become an all consuming thought and desire, I now see that it’s been diverting me from my purpose.
It’s the same as when you want a certain car, you start seeing on the road… EVERYWHERE. It’s next to you at the red light, it’s in front of you in traffic. It’s parked beside you at the mall. You take it as a sign. It has to be, right? Why else would God “tease me” with this everywhere! You latch on to that and somehow end up manipulating desire into “deserve.”
When you just saw a friend buy the car you wanted and post it on Instagram and that voice of comparison is saying “why not me?” Your feelings are saying “treat yourself.”
Or When you’ve been single for a while and your friends are getting married (and it seems like they all want to get married at the same time). Your heart aches to be loved and cherished by someone just like we all do… but you don’t love and cherish yourself. It seems we’re all waiting for something. Some longer than others. But what’s a “fair” amount of time to wait? We tend to put a finite timeline on a God that is infinite.
I remember going to Bill Hoffman ridden with guilt from my past and present failures and kept repeating “I’m not that bad!” And he softly and kindly said “Yes you are”. “We are all that bad”. Wow…We are all that bad! But for self preservation we justify our good deeds and behaviors and tend to overlook the bad. We say things like “overall I’m pretty good” as if life is a grade on a paper and our “average” is a B+
The reality is… we wouldn’t want God to be fair. Fairness doesn’t make way for Grace. Fair would be vindication for all our wrongs as well as all our “rights”. Fairness would be getting that job, or finding that spouse. BUT, also getting the BURDENS and CHALLENGES that the deserving person also had. Because what we “deserve” is a lot less grace.
We are challenged to trust God by faith… and faith is having a ruthless trust. A trust that surpasses logic, understanding and especially our emotions which are fickle. My God always comes through. Is God fair? Maybe not, but he is right on time, and He is just.
I won’t always understand, but I will always trust. I will put Him first. And while I wait, I will thank Him for what he has done, and what He is going to do.