I hope that you are well while reading this and having a wonderful weekend ☺
As it always is after too long away from writing here, friends, I
am filled with elation and delight at getting to say hello and write.
I pray your spring season has been full of joy (or if you are not here in the U.S.,
I hope you're enjoying your weather where you are)! How delightfully
gorgeous this spring has been so far. The wildflowers are a constant reminder
of goodness and beauty in their lovely appearance scattered through meadows
and along the roads here, especially in the country.
. . .
With these wonderful, breezy spring days, I have been blessed to spend
quite a bit of time outside lately, and in doing so, I have been pondering and thinking
of so much as I observe the wonder around me.
This was absolutely the case as I took a hike and walked by the picturesque
creek on a day-trip to another town last weekend.
And being there as I sat taking it all in, just quiet and alone with my thoughts
out in God's creation, I pondered much and also had the chance
to think about something that has been on my heart lately...
I had recently read a quote that drove home this beautiful point
(although I'm afraid I can't recall the exact wording):
Love God because you love GOD,
not because you want Him to bring you GOOD.
When I read something that makes me think for a moment, I know a quote
or thought has really impacted me, and this one did.
I had never thought about it so distinctly or quite in that way before.
If we think of all the times that we pray to God to ask for something good or
something we are hoping dearly for, or of the times that we may
be going through something difficult and the thought may cross our
minds, Lord, I love you and and try to be the best person I can
and live by your word- why are bad things happening to me?...
how does it compare with the amount of times you prayed just to tell Him
you loved Him or were thankful for Him in your life or for blessings
and the greatest blessing of having a relationship with Him?
This is not to say of course that asking God for things to happen in your life
is wrong in any way at all.... it is the opposite. God ASKS us to
bring our hearts and our troubles and burdens to Him (1 Peter 5:7)!
But... in thinking of this, I began to think more deeply
than ever of exactly how I view this area of my relationship with the Lord...
I also began to reflect on this thought in terms of a thought in a sermon
I heard many years ago. It talked about how some servants of God
have fallen away from Him because they have prayed for things to be
better in their lives and they felt their prayers were unanswered.
Or they felt discouraged and unloved by God because their hopes
did not come to fruition.
As I thought more about this, I thought of how much an
attitude like that can hinder our relationship with God and our love for Him.
If we serve God for the benefits and blessings and wants we think we'll
receive as someone "in His favor", we are showing Him
that we only want something from Him- that loving Him for
who He is and His mercy, love, and glory is not important to us.
As a young woman, being at the age where many of my friends or other
girls I see or have known are hoping to get married (or are), I think of how it is
easy to fall into this line of thinking.... to watch the years go by and wonder
why God hasn't brought the one you believe He has for you yet, or why,
he hasn't allowed a certain something to happen in your life
that you have prayed for for years...
It could be that you are praying for a friend, a marriage mate, a more
peaceful life or family, or a health issue to be resolved.
Thinking about seeking God for Him and all that He is instead of
doing so because we hope that by living a life pleasing to Him, he will give
us what we hope for, is such an interesting thing to ponder...
it made me realize how fine that line can be between BELIEVING that God
will care for your needs and hopes and praising Him for His love,
and serving Him BECAUSE He is going to allow those things in
your life if you do.
In struggles and trials, it is SO easy to lean the other way,
perhaps especially since we are feeling discouraged and perhaps
like God is not hearing us. But I have learned that if I am patient, He
does open a door that will lead where He knows I am meant to be.It may not always be exactly what we thought we wanted, but it
will be even better.
And times like those, as well as every day, we can be inspired to love and
follow God for GOD, not for good or reward... and to love Him
for the right things that will lead us to God and to contentedness and joy
that is only found IN Him, like:
His love, His mercies, the privilege of prayer,
the natural beauty in His creation that He has surrounded us with,
the goodness in the place He has us in right now, & His
incredible gift to us of having a relationship
with Him and His son.
And we can know that our heart and our serving God
is pleasing to Him when we seek Him for these things that ARE what He
is instead of what we hope to gain.
If we ever struggle with this, we can also take heart that the things we
feel we need are prayers that will be answered in God's timing,
and if He does lead us in another direction, we should not get discouraged,
because undoubtedly our God knows better for us than we ever could.
. . .
Have a blessed and lovely weekend, dears!
Your sister in Christ,