We Don’t Always Get What We Want
Six years ago, I wanted nothing more than to stay in Spain forever. Ten years ago, I wanted nothing more than to stay in Texas forever. Fourteen years ago, I wanted nothing more than to stay in Florida forever. I fought EACH move God had us make. I went kicking and screaming (spiritually speaking), whining and complaining (literally), questioning “Why are you doing to this to me, God? It’s not fair!!”
We don’t always get what we want.
There’s an old TV show from the 80′s, “Cheers,” that’s set in a Boston pub. This one guy came so often that, whenever he walked through the door, no matter what time of day it was or who was inside, everyone called out, “Norm!”
I wanted to be like Norm – not the heavy, middle-aged man part; but the “everybody knows your name” part. I wanted to live in one place forever. To put down roots. To belong.
And, yet, God kept snatching me from places where I could have been “Norm” and moving me to places where nobody knew my name.
It took every one of those moves, though, for God to get through my thick skull that I DO have a place where I will get to put down roots. A place I was made to inhabit. A place I didn’t even realize I was longing for. I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about. But it took me YEARS to see it, years to understand that the longing I had to belong was a God-given longing for heaven: my eternal home. No place on earth will ever be heaven. Every place – even places as great as Florida, Texas, and Spain – pale in comparison to the home Jesus tells us he prepares for those who love him. I am to enjoy this life he has given me, but I am never to think this is “it.” This world, as Mother Teresa once said, will, in the light of heaven, seem to be “no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.” It’s a nice place to visit, but…
If I had gotten what I wanted, I’d have missed that lesson. I’d have missed so many other lessons, too. God knew what I needed wasn’t what I wanted. I am grateful that he didn’t give in to my whining and complaining, that he didn’t say “Yes” to my prayers that he let us stay in Florida/Texas/Spain.
Are you there? Praying for something and not getting a “Yes”? Wanting something and getting what seems like the opposite? I feel your pain. I understand your frustration. But believe me, what we want isn’t always what we need. I am thankful God knows that, even when I am too stubborn to admit it.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” Jer. 29:11