Thursday, April 23, 2020

Got It, Didn’t Want It - Martin Wiles

The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, “He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!” Matthew 11:19 NLT

“I want to go to big-boy school,” he said—but he really didn’t.

Our middle grandson—three at the time—thought he wanted to go to school. And he had mastered what we told him he had to before he could go: going to the potty. Now he was ready for summer to end and school to start. Until after the first day.

His visit to the room before enrolling went well. He played with the toys. I suppose he thought that was all he would do for the entire day. 

When the second day rolled around, his excitement had vanished. Instead of “I want to go to big-boy school,” he loudly proclaimed, “I don’t want to go to big-boy school.”

By the second day, he had figured out work was involved in this school thing. I dropped him off at his room and listened to him scream as I walked away. Although he soon quieted down, he was no more ready to go to school the following day than he had been the second day. He got what he wanted, but didn’t want it when he got it.

Jesus also faced a group of unsatisfied people. John the Baptist came along, living a minimalist lifestyle and preaching harshly, and they didn’t like him. Jesus followed with a party lifestyle, and they didn’t like Him either.

I suppose I could make a long list of things I thought I wanted, but things that didn’t satisfy me after I got them. Possessions and relationships might top the list. Like a child with a new toy, they satisfied only for the moment.

Learning satisfaction in all circumstances—which the apostle Paul said he had done—without destroying my initiative to be all I can for Christ isn’t the easiest task in the world. But it can be done.

When I believe God has a plan for me and is executing it, I can experience satisfaction—even though the plan may not look anything like the one I had imagined. At the same time, I’ll continue to take the initiative to move toward God’s goal for me with my best efforts, knowing I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. A delicate balance, but one Christ helps me maintain.

Don’t be satisfied with just anything. Be satisfied with what and whom God brings into your life.

Prayer: Father, help us to want only those things You want for us.

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