Everyday, I receive a neat little devotional in my email inbox from the UCC. StillSpeaking Daily Devotionals were my rock when I first started breaking into the scriptures with my grown up heart and mind. Everyday, I read a lesson that helps me understand better, and sometimes, it is ex-act-ly the answer to a prayer. It exactly meets my needs in that exact time and place. Today, I got one of those e-mails.
For the past year, I’ve been hoping for, and perhaps expecting, a certain kind of relationship with a certain kind of person. I thought that it was what I wanted and I set my heart high on that hope. A lot of people told me to be careful and to .. you know .. not do what I was doing. Waiting and hoping. Even though things didn’t turn out how I hoped they would, at the time, it felt right, so I’m okay with those decisions.
Anyway, recent adventures and interactions gave me an opportunity to think about how I feel about everything and where I want my heart to rest. Simply, and vaguely, we don’t match. I wanted us to match, and I thought we could and would. I thought that our lives and histories would fit together like differently shaped, but perfectly interlocking puzzle pieces.
Today, I received this devotional.
Reading the reflections, it helped me think more clearly about “this.” Who hasn’t asked for “this?” Who hasn’t prayed for love, companionship, partnership? Greater love and understanding? I have, and I am grateful for the ability to see this as an answer to that prayer.
William Green writes:
We, too, can want things that, however important, are not what we truly need. We can want greater love and understanding without realizing that, deeper than that, we need a greater ability to love and accept ourselves. We can want more help from others when, deeper than that, we need the confidence that we can help ourselves. Once those kinds of need are met, what we want may be significant, but it’s second best.
Peter said to the beggar, “I can’t give you what you want, but I will give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus, get up and walk.” That’s what God says to us. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with what we want but it’s often not what really matters. That’s what God gives. We can expect a lot more than we prayed for—like a life more full of hope and promise that lets us walk again, a lot taller than before, and sometimes even leap for joy.
This makes so much sense to me. It helps me understand that we served a purpose in each other’s lives, for sure, but the things I wanted, while not necessarily wrong, were not what God will give. He expects to give me a lot more. My dearest Katie Robinson tells me over and over, “Whatever happens, please trust that God will make sure it makes you happiest.” And it’s true for him, too.
I think about the last few times the two puzzle pieces were together trying to make the pieces fit. We didn’t match. Forcing the pieces together forces one of them to bend. I realize that the only way to make those pieces fit is to dampen them and squish together two soggy puzzle pieces. And I don’t want that for him. I don’t want that for myself. I don’t want to be soggy.
William Green closes his devotional with a prayer:
God, help me understand that if you don’t give me what I want it isn’t what I need. May I trust that in your grace my needs are met beyond anything I could have asked for. Amen.
Over the last year of my life, I have practiced and learned to trust God. I trust that He knows better than me (however stubbornly I protest), and I know that He will meet my needs and shower me with blessings I can’t even comprehend. So, for those who have been asking me how I feel about “this,” I know that it makes sense. It stings a bit for now, but I know that we both get to walk away happier than if either of us settled for soggy cardboard. We are both worth so much more than that.
So much love,