It’s that time of year again. The time to go through clothes and get rid of what doesn’t fit or won’t work for the next season. It’s time to pack up hand-me-downs to save and pass on the rest to a new home.
I find myself wanting.
Next season. Why do those words carry with them so much angst? I am not worried. I am wanting. Me. One of the sheep who “shall not want” stands, for maybe just a moment, discontent in the eye of a clothing tsunami.
First of all, who needs all this stuff anyway? And why does none of it fit? Or match? Or look anywhere close to decent with my newfound shape?
Ah…the baby bump. The baby bump is back. Herein lies the root of all my mumbles and grumbles. So soon? Already, Lord? I feel unprepared, unsuspecting, unfit. But deep down I know that none of those things are true. The truth is that I am simply, slightly, unwilling. This is not part of my plan for this year I fear.
So here I stand sulking in unapproved, unnecessary, unreasonable want.
There are wants and there are needs. There are desires and there are dreams. Some race to the foot of the cross on the coat tails of a false gospel – a gospel that promises all one could ever want on his or her own terms. Some run as far away from the foot of the cross as possible because they know that the opposite is true. Some try to reconcile their selfish desires with the gospel, squeezing them to make them fit, and pretending God thought of them. Still others compartmentalize by separating their faith from the rest of their lives. But what exactly does the Bible mean when it promises our hearts’ desires? Surely none of these things mentioned are appropriate.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ~Matthew 6:33
I’m not sure how these truths have played out in your struggle against selfish plans vs. God’s plans in your life, but I can tell you a little ditty on my own dreams.
I want to be fit. I want to feel well. I want a clean house, obedient children, a listening husband, and an encouraging church. I want time. I want to write books and climb mountains and run miles and disciple women and teach my children without interruption.
Interruption. What a sneaky word. Interruptions are life. Life without interruption is lifeless; stale; stagnant; boring; bland. Interruptions are life’s little speed bumps. They protect us from pride. They are there to make us humble, to slow us down, to teach us how to wait.
How can one so blessed mumble and grumble when her shirts stop fitting? Too much interruption for a perpetual speeder, I suppose. Too much time spent dwelling on what does not fit and not enough on what is most fitting for my life.
Enter: God. He interrupts me. He interrupts my sullen sulking with a test. I suppose it is an emergency broadcast of sorts. What is going to matter when the storm comes? Will it be how many shirts fit or how many souls I’ve helped become fit?
Delight yourself in ME. Seek ME. Place your peace, your desires, your dreams, your whole life in ME.
The things I think I want become so dull in light of His grace. I recall my desires and I realize the magnificent ways in which he has given them all to me despite myself and my selfishness.
I have a house to clean and the ability to clean it. I have children to teach and the knowledge to teach them. I have a husband who listens a lot more patiently than he did 16 years ago. I have a church that loves the Lord and loves me. I can still run, bike, swim, and lift even though I’m pregnant. I feel better than I ever have in my first trimester. I have more time that most home school moms with four children because I have my mom to help me.
How can I allow a few pieces of ill-fitting clothing to steal my joy? I cannot. I will not. The Lord is my shepherd. He has reminded me once again that I shall not want.