Wanting Something Less

It is not uncommon for people to express a desire to want more out of life. This is the impetus for why many people switch jobs, careers, churches, or marriages. For one reason or another they believe that the proverbial grass is in fact greener on the other side, if only they could get to it. Of course many of them find that once they cross the chasm their unfulfilled desires still exist. It turns out that long-term contentment is not a result of the circumstances you are in.

On the other side of the spectrum you may find Christians who talk about how they wish God didn’t trust them with quite so much. We know that no trial or travesty comes to us without it being under the purview of God’s sovereign plan and it is His desire that our lives would be a glorious reflection of Him. Knowing that He will equip us to do the good work that He has called us to do (Eph. 2:10) and that often times it is through the difficulties in life that our mettle for ministry is formed, we may wish that God’s plan for us were a little less grand. Given enough time most Christians can articulate how God used difficulty to accomplish good things in their lives, but sometimes we may wonder if we can withstand the problem long enough to get to the payoff.

In His wisdom and graciousness though, God is not prone to letting us off easy when it comes to accomplishing His good purposes in our lives. He knows that when we get to eternity the difficulties will seem inconsequential compared to the eternal glory that they produced. As C.S. Lewis stated, “It is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.” God wants us to experience the full expanse of His love and despite our short-term desires to the contrary, He is not willing to let us sacrifice eternal significance for temporal comfort.

It may be tempting to wish for less of the responsibility of trials; it is understandable why we would desire that hardship be reserved for another. However, let us not forget that it is often through difficulties that we experience God’s love, grace and kindness in ways that we neglect to pay attention to during times of ease. May we desire that our lives be filled with His glory – by whatever means will produce it.

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It’s not a word that most of us like.

When something is broken it means it is not functioning as it should.

Therefore, when we’re broken it must mean the same thing.

We work hard to prevent this. We try to “hold it all together” and “keeping the pieces falling into place.”

But sometimes, regardless of our best efforts, we end up broken.

We may be tempted to think this means that God has abandoned us.

We’re coerced into believing that we must have done something wrong.

All the cylinders aren’t firing and all the cogs aren’t moving forwards, and that must be against God’s plan.

And while sometimes we’re broken as a consequence of our bad and sinful decisions, sometimes it’s the work of God’s hands.

Sometimes, like in the case of Job, God has a greater purpose for our hurt and pain.

Sometimes, the goal isn’t to be whole, if being whole means we become wholly dependent on ourselves, but to be broken so that we are completely reliant on God.

Sometimes our brokeness doesn’t result in God putting the pieces back together, but in Him giving us new pieces, rearranging them, and filling in the gaps with the work of His hands.

Being broken isn’t always about us and what we’ve done. Sometimes it’s about God, and what He is doing. ..how He’s using our lives, even the broken pieces, to create His masterpiece.

ItΒ may look different from what we’ve pictured. But that’s ok – because the Audience and the Creator are One. The goal isn’t to make our lives look like what we’ve imagined, but to make our lives look like His.

And when that’s the case, even if our brokenness, our lives are made beautiful.

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