Jesus offered life when we were content with Law. And eternal riches when a job promotion was what we thought would remunerate. He prepared a Kingdom when we had our eyes on a three-bedroom, two-bath house. Need I go on? We always sell ourselves short. Left to our own devices we will choose the small, uninspiring things every time.
In part, this happens because we think we know ourselves. Our emotions speak, and we listen, seldom considering that God knows us better than the strident voice of our will that insists, “You NEED this!” We don’t have the capabilities to imagine what God is able to give, so we think what we want is truly in our best interests. Without giving God control, we stick to our restricted ideas. We set our course. We make our plans, and we write a mental list of what we think will make us happy, fulfilled, equipped. Often, that list becomes our most heartfelt prayer. God, I need a job. Or a mate. Or a house. Or a child. Or a vacation. We feel so sufficient, so productive mapping things out. Confidently, we present our plan to God rather than welcoming His plan for us. Then, we grow frustrated when He doesn’t unfold with rapid efficiency what we’ve deemed perfect for our present situation.
When God doesn’t grant us our desires swiftly, we can take matters into our own hands. Like shopping a pre-Christmas sale for our own presents, we have a low expectation of our pending gift, a feeling that what awaits is insufficient. So, we act in haste. And, like making a rushed purchase, we pay an exorbitant price for something that lacks lasting satisfaction. The thrill. The stuff. The relationship. The sex. The money. It’s all ill-fitting because it was never designed with us in mind... or rather we weren’t designed for it. Sadly, the return policy is a lousy one, and we’re often left with damaged goods.
If, like the woman at the well, we pause to converse with Jesus, we will likely find he offers something other than what we assumed we needed. We can put down the pitcher we thought would satisfy and accept the better gift He offers. Instead of carrying well water in a clay pot in solitude to our home in the shadows, we can run with purpose, shouting loudly about the living water Jesus has poured into our earthen vessels.
His choice for our lives is always superior to ours. Grander. More fulfilling. More exciting. Better than what we know to put on our lists. The best surprises. Worthy of a squeal and tap dance every time.
Tips/Tidbits: Trust God to know what’s best for you, then enjoy what He has planned for you all along.