Why I Never Get What I Want
What’s my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing here? What’s God’s plan for me? When are things going to go my way? Will Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart from Twilight ever get back together?!?
Unless you’re a 13-year-old girl, 4 out of 5 of those questions could be ones you’ve asked to yourself, God, out loud, or all of the above.
We all want to be “in the know”, am I right? We are all super nosy. We can claim we aren’t, but ultimately, we are always trying to get the one up on everything. It doesn’t have to be celeb gossip or other people’s personal lives. It can be latest stocks, political issues, decisions from the higher ups at work, and the biggest one…what God’s plan is for us.
We’re always trying to find the signs or find some crazy twist from scripture that validates or gives us permission to do what we want. Or we are constantly praying, “God reveal to me ____.” “God give me a sign that ___.” And sometimes we come up empty, sometimes he answers when we least expect it, but always when he intends to.
But the question that comes back to bite us the most and we don’t even realize it? It’s actually not a direct question we ask, but a summation of what our hearts are truly asking through all the noise of our other questions we pose to God. Here it is: “What’s in it for me, God?”
It’s true if you think about it. We ask, “Why did you put me in this city?” “Why can’t I find someone to be with?” “Why aren’t you answering my prayers?” “What’s your plan for me?”
Don’t get me wrong, these are NOT bad things to ask God and you should keep in constant connection via prayer with him. But, just like children nagging a parent, we can’t stop asking the overall, “What’s in it for ME?” “If I do this for you God, what do I get out of it?”
But here’s what’s been convicting me lately. It’s God’s response, for me personally, at least. But I bet it applies to you too. And be careful because it stings a bit at first, but the honesty upon digesting it, is much more soothing than the initial intake. Here’s been his response:
“Who says this has anything to do with you?”
Ouch. Or he’s also given me this one, “Who says you get anything out of this?”
At first, it startled me and I thought, “Wait, what??” But as I processed it, I began to realize what he was trying to teach me so that I could find peace. It wasn’t that it would NEVER be about me, because he loves me and cares about my well being, but I can be childish and make childish demands. We all can.
You see, God doesn’t NEED me or you to accomplish anything. He chose to use me, because I made myself available to his plan, and he’s using me to accomplish it. I’m just thankful to be along for the ride. He could easily have gotten someone else to do the things I’ve done, experience the things I have, but I was willing and I stayed as faithful as I have known how, and he’s blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. But my actions and well being aren’t dependent upon his plan succeeding or failing, my succeeding and failing is dependent upon my actions toward his plan.
Many Godly military people have asked, “Why am I deployed/stationed here?” Many Godly families have asked, “Why did you move me to this city?” or “What was the point of that short time you placed me only to move me along again?” I have asked many of these questions myself, not always gaining an answer right away, or at all.
But his answer has come back, “Who says this is about you?”
Maybe you need to realize that God is saying, “I need you to help my church for 2 years with the talents I gave you.” Or “I need you to go and save the lives of a spiritually dying person in your work place. It’s only for 6 months, but I need you to plant a seed of hope in their hearts and move on and let me do the rest.” “I need you to take this time of job uncertainty and focus on raising your children and strengthening your marriage while you have time to do it.”
If God said, “I need you to go to this city for 3 years and save a family for me. That’s your only purpose.” Would you do it without any other instructions? Would it be worth it? Could you rest in that? Remember, it’s not about you…or me.
And he promises he will take care of our needs. The blessings will come when we are obedient to the plan he has for us in this moment, not for the moments we wish would fall in our laps.
We always want everything to come to us, not have to think about it, fall into love, money, success, or bliss. But rarely does it work that way and if it does, it’s short lived until that’s not enough and we want to know what else God has next for us because we’ve discarded the former.
Sometimes, it’s obvious what God wants us to do and we can’t deny the opportunities, jobs, family, relationships, etc put in front of us. But other times when we are scrambling and searching for answers, we naturally focus inward and initiate internal damage control, even trying to save face on all levels.
But maybe God is telling you, “I need you to strengthen my people.” “I need you to be a walking testimony at a terrible job, in a bad environment for X amount of years.”
He’s actually saying, “I just need you to do what I ask and trust me. This isn’t about what you get out of it, it’s about what I need to get out of you. And when you do, I will have the blessings there waiting for you.”
You don’t have to be as smart as God in order to believe in him or trust him, because you aren’t and you won’t be. Try to be and 1 Corinthians chapter 1 says you will be frustrated and humbled. Maybe that’s part of the problem for you currently, I don’t know.
But it’s okay to not know. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to trust without knowing every detail or ‘why not?’ or ‘how come?’.
Remember, maybe right now, your situation isn’t even about you.