You can probably think of annual/other routine times that come around and get you evaluating The (Your) Situation. Maybe it’s because I’m in college, but my Situation Evaluation Days tend to be at the end of every semester. Coming to finals week generally forces some confrontation between myself and my academic goals, ego, and reality. At the beginning of the semester (or whatever time period you go with) there’s that big black slate in front of you and, I don’t know about your views here, but I cant’ help but build a few hopes and expectations/plans of how things will go.
August (going for a brisk late summer run, Fitness!)
Me-“Ok, God-I sent you a copy of the agenda right? Just tryin’ to keep you and I on the same page..”
God-“Sure Rebecca, I got the memo-I’m listening.”
December (curled up beneath my too-tall bed frame, behind my drawers, cradling a jar of marshmallow fluff…hair is not brushed and face is non-existant. Anti-Fittness.)
Me-“Hmmm, had to make a few adjustments to the details but at least we followed the general outline. As in, I went to school and passed another semester. Aside from that, nothing went according to The Plan. B- overall. Not sure where I stand on this. Let’s aim for the A-range next OK? I’ll highlight the key points next one if that helps?”
God-“Sure, if that’s what you feel like doing, go ahead and send me a highlighted copy next time. Why are you not satisfied with how the past few months went? What do you want?
Turning around Jesus saw them following and asked, “what do you want?”…..”Woman”…”why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” (John 1:38-39, 25:15)
Me-“You know, there are things I wish I’d done better in, things I wanted to happen, didn’t want to happen, unexpected bends in the road, and that hamster-wheel feeling…”
God-“Remember those 7Longings we talked about many months ago?”… *REWIND*
7 Longings that draw us to God and Reflect his Glory in us:
- For the assurance that we are enjoyed by God
- To be fascinated
- For beauty
- To be great
- For intimacy without shame
- To be wholehearted and passionate
- To make a deep and lasting impact
“We find the answer to our longings in the one who put them there in our hearts. When these longings are not touched by the grace of God, they leave us empty; with pain, mourning, and dissatisfaction. These longings are actually expressions of His image. We feel delight because He feels delight. These “designer cravings” are an essential part of His beauty in our lives. Granted these longings he created in us may not be fully met in this lifetime, but even a little touch of God goes a long way. To encouter God in these areas describes being fully alive”
—Mike Bickle, author of ‘Passion for Jesus’
We are constantly both consciously and subconsciously running to fulfill these divine desires. And don’t get me wrong, they are created by the Creator, they are good and crafted specifically for the human soul. It’s no surprise that we orient our Plans around seeking this fulfillment-we know it’s there! Why do we go to school and/or work? Why do we have those hobbies/talents/arts? We want to be fascinated, to be great, to make a deep and lasting impact. Our interactions with others and how we express ourselves is an window for these desires. Why are we captivated by a mountain-scape, or a single tree? What drives me outside and into the forest despite major fear of bears and hyper-hunters? I am captivated by the beautiful divine creation resiliant to human corruption, it’s raw, real and frighteningly beautiful. It’s so frustrating sometimes when I try to capture even a small piece of it into a camera lens, because that beauty is more than visual. A photographer can do quite a good job at getting some beauty across that lens barrier. (I can stare forever at a picture mentally walking right into it) But even a professional can’t physically put you in that place, standing in the woods is different than looking at it on paper-and then waking up to your desk. Hence, yes, the general consensus is that we like to experience true beauty. Which is not found in the grocery store magazine rack. (although it wouldn’t be hard to convince me that those red velvet souffles in Southern Living Magazine are as pretty darn gorgeous as royal pine trees..)
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12)
So then there’s this thing about being ‘wholehearted and passionate’ and the desire for ‘intimacy without shame’. Don’t cringe, please, I’m not going to ask you to seductively unwrap a hershey’s kiss and not eat it. That is cruel. (especially if it’s one of those candy cane kisses)
We were made to be in relationship, this is probably not new knowledge for you, sometimes I like to remind myself though. We want to be valued and wanted by others, in different ways. We want friends who stay through thick and thin, we want unconditional love and support from our families, we want to be treasured, and share ourselves in intimate relationship with one other person. All good here. We are free to seek these relationships, God has given us the thumbs up, but he also wants us to first be in relationship with him,
“I have summoned you by name; you are mine…you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you…whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”-God! (Isaiah 43:1,4,7)
which includes listening to what he’s telling you, understanding that your ways are not always his ways but that he is fervently working for you to be fulfilled to the bursting point.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”-Jesus (John 10:10)
The pathway you’re walking on may not include the kinds of relationships you want all the time. Your existing relationships may not be exactly as you’d like them either. This is why our innermost relationship is perfect, we are not, but God is, he does not fail us as humans (even the ones we love and who love us) inevitably will at one time or anther. Nothing can de-fulfill your life once it is made full by Him who made you. He gives you the freedom to explore the world and his many expressions of himself in the world, he does not stop loving you regardless of what you end up doing, nope. He wants the very best for you and is jealous for your love, and life. Jealous love, an ardent zeal for you and you without anything or anyone else. It’s wholehearted and passionate intimacy without shame that’s what. He is constantly seeking your heart, but you have the choice to open your eyes.
“Everything is permissible”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”-but not everything is constructive…so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 23, 31
God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. 1Corinthians 1:9
In summary, God gave each of us unique windows of expression (our work, art, music, craftiness, personality, creativity, relationships with others and ultimately himself), so we can display his work in us and experience all the mirrors reflecting his beauty. To have us live in the completeness only he can give.
Me-“you are so good at this whole re-wind thing. I was beginning to think my desires were unrealistic, or unwarranted. I think I was starting to go back to trying to seeking them instead of you. I’m sorry, here they are (my desires) you know them better than anyone else and I trust you know the best pathway. Do what you will with me, my life, make me into the image you see, and my desires are already fulfilled. That is what I want.
God-“I’m glad we talked. Let’s keep walking.”
“These here are my desires, and I will give them up to you”-Mumford&Sons