Daily I struggle with whether I’m walking the path God has placed before me or whether it is one I’ve carved out myself. The answer, of course, lies in whether the goal at the end is a selfish gratification. If so, then this is not something I should be seeking. In my current Bible Study on James: Mercy Triumphs, Beth Moore said something that stuck in my mind. If what we want is something we don’t feel comfortable asking God for, then He is not in it.
I confess when I look around my home, I see things I’ve acquired without seeking God to provide them. Those are selfish desires. Oh, they can be justified by telling myself I deserve them. How convenient to place a K-cup in a pretty red machine, which perfectly matches my kitchen decor, and have a hot cup of tea in less than two minutes. And the small flat screen TV in the kitchen gives me access to the morning news as I enjoy breakfast. I don’t like eating alone. Would I have asked God for these? The answer is a resounding “NO!”
After my husband left for heaven, not only did I grieve his loss, but I feared for my financial security. Truthfully, my income was not sufficient to meet my monthly expenses. I asked God to help me, prayed fervently for Him to provide. The answer came almost immediately. He provided a part-time job with wages which would exactly meet the deficit. Let me tell you, God was in that request and He jumped right on it!
But like most of us humans, I’m always desiring something else. I’m not ashamed to admit I wish I could stay home and not have the responsibility of a job at this stage of my life. After four years of retirement, I’ve become used to it. This morning, after devotions and prayer, I was talking to my cat, Templeton. Oh, I’m not crazy but when you live alone and your cat looks intently at you and meows, you begin a conversation. We both like to hear voices in an otherwise very quiet home.
I digress, sorry. Anyway, these words popped out of my mouth. “Templeton, when you ask God to provide and He does, it is a good thing. Having the means to meet my obligations each month is a good thing. Being with little children and seeing their smiles and enjoying their hugs is a good thing. Look at all I’d be missing without having this part-time job!”
The lesson I’ve learned is that God doesn’t provide things to us on a silver platter. He provides a means and we have to apply the effort. Anything less is selfish.
The thought I’d like to leave you with is to be brave and confident and ask God! He knows what’s in your heart anyway. However, don’t ask with the wrong motives.