This is a "thought bubble". It is an illustration depicting thought. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do you really want what you think you want?
Yesterday I heard the above quote while listening to a message on the prodigal son. The kind of quote that puts a different spin on things – that gets right to the heart of the matter – just when I thought I had heard every angle on every story in the Bible after hearing them for years.
I took notes – but for some mysterious reason, this morning I went to look for them on my Bible app and they are gone. Mostly, I just wanted to get the above quote, right – but maybe there is a reason why I lost them. The whole of the message was wrapped up in that simple question.
In the middle of the message, when the question flashed on the screen, I remember closing my eyes and shutting out everyone around me. I thought of the things that I have thought I wanted, only to find out later that they would have not been the best thing – maybe even harmful to me. And I thought about the many times I insisted on having my way anyway. I thought about the pain of consequence – the people I have hurt - the things I wish I could do over and it humbled me.
We have all done this. Whether it’s a relationship, position, or finances we are all guilty of wanting something more. That intangible thing that’s hanging out there – the proverbial “keeping up with the Jones’s” is that force that drives us constantly upward and onward. The thing that we know for sure – will make us happy.
I remember asking God for something and arguing with Him – it was a very one-sided conversation, but He let me rant and rave for a while. I was sure I knew what was best for me. I can remember the time and place where I was – the confusion and storm going on in my mind and heart. There was one thing I knew for sure would make me happy – be best for me – would take care of all my problems, etc. I wanted to be right. And if I’m honest – at times I still think I am.
Cindy Morgan wrote these lyrics, “sometimes heartaches are just blessings in disguise” I wonder how many times we pray for something, plead, CRY OUT, stomp, fuss, fight, argue, try to justify, and wear ourselves out – only to find out later (sometimes much later) that it was a blessing NOT to get what we asked for.
Oh there are sometimes that God lets us have what we are asking for. Sometimes it is the only way He can get our attention and bring us into right relationship with Him. It may be a person, thing, or circumstance but we are sure that this one thing will provide that ultimate happiness and fulfillment.
”Be careful what you pray and ask for – you just might get it”
Sometimes the things that we get – through our own insistence to be right – can cause us untold misery and consequence down the road. Because of the selfish nature in which we ask for them – or even feel justified to have them, might seem good – even exciting and fresh – with the promise of lasting fulfillment, but in the end there may be more rippling effects of negative than we could ever imagine.
Lord – help me to value your protection and wisdom for my life. Help me to listen to you when you withhold from me those things I think I want and need. Help me to be sober enough and have enough sense to think about the long-term consequences for my actions. Help me NOT to be stupid. Amen
When was the last time you asked yourself the question: Do you really want what you think you want?