Flashback: What We Need vs. What We Want

I’m not a big journaler.  I never have been, which is why I was hesitant to start this blog.  I’m not accustomed to putting my thinking on paper (or screen).  This is why I jot down blog ideas in the same journal I’ve been using since 2009.  I was flipping through some of my entries over the last five years to see what caught my eye and came across the entry below from January 3, 2011.  (During this time, I used my journal as a prayer or conversational journal between God and myself.)

“As I read the story of Ruth and Naomi, it strikes me how You always give us exactly what we need.  It may not be what we expected or even wanted, but, just like the lilies and the birds, You take care of us.

Naomi probably thought she was getting a daughter-in-law, a mother for her grandchildren, and a wife for her son.  Instead, she got a loyal and faithful friend, a travelling companion for life, and much more.

Ruth probably thought she was getting a mother-in-law that came with her marriage.  Instead, she got a leader, spiritual example, and much more

I think both women got different things than they expected, but exactly what they needed.  Lord, give me what I need.  You always take care of me in ways I never expected.  Thank you and I love you.”

In the five years since I wrote this, I have found this true over and over again.  God gives me what I need, but not always what I want.  However, if I trust Him; it often ends up even better than I imagined.  It still can be scary though.  I was raised with a good amount of fear of God.  Prayer is powerful.  So, by asking God for what I need and not necessarily what I want, I’m letting go of control and my plan.  As someone who needs to know what is going on, this is a big deal.  Sometimes I fail at this and I freely admit that I sometimes pray “Let Your will reign, but, please, could Your will be …” (fill in the blank).  It’s a process.  I don’t think God minds that I ask this – as long as I follow His will when it is clear (even when it isn’t what I asked).  So, I’ll probably keep asking, but, ultimately, I will try to always listen and respond to His answer.

(If you want to read more about these women’s lives, Naomi and Ruth’s story is told in the short book of Ruth in the Old Testament.)

– S

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