I recently heard a song that quickly became a new favorite of mine. Not only was it a beautiful melody sung by a beautiful voice, but the lyrics resonated so deeply with me. That is what I love most about music. It goes,
“Lord I don’t want to rush on ahead
In my own strength, when you’re right here.
I’m not in a hurry
When it comes to your spirit
When it comes to your presence
When it comes to your voice
I’m learning to listen
Just to rest in your nearness
I’m starting to notice
You are speaking..”
This song made me stop and think and realize that I do this all too often. I find myself striving to look my best, to have a cute, new outfit, to look like I have it all together and am always happy, to have the freedom and flexibility to work from home in a position that I love, to have a perfectly decorated, Pinterest worthy home. Ultimately striving for the ideal in all of these situations, but all my striving and wanting leaves me feeling unloved, unworthy, and ungrateful.
So often, I want to rush ahead and force my way on to what I think is the next best thing. Social media doesn’t help with this. It can be such a wonderful place for connection and inspiration, but it can also be so discouraging when everyone is sharing only the best versions of themselves and their lives because that’s what we feel like we’re supposed to do. Sure, we don’t only want to share about the negative experiences in our lives (because there is enough of that out there in our world as it is), but we also don’t need to strive for these idealistic expectations that have been set before us. We don’t need another person telling us what to buy, or where to shop, or what our homes should look like, or what our relationship should be, or what our professional lives should look like, or making us feel inadequate. What we do need are friends who are willing to be real and vulnerable, to share their struggles and their victories, and to make us feel encouraged--to make us feel like we aren’t alone and that someone else has been there too.
Instead of rushing and striving, I’m trying to remember that my God is omnipresent and sovereign and faithful and wants only the very best for me, and that His plans are even more than I could ever hope or wish for (Ephesians 3:20). I’m trying to be patient, to trust in his timing, and to remember that my abilities, my job, my home, my relationships and so much more are ALL gifts from Him (James 1:17) and that He has chosen me for this exact place, this position, and this time. If I remember these things and stop thinking so selfishly, then I will be able to enjoy the many wonderful things in my life right here and now, especially when I know that there are so many others out there struggling with so much worse.
I don’t need to be in a hurry and strive for the next best thing when He, who is the very best thing, is right here. I need to listen carefully as he unveils what he has planned for me (Jeremiah 29:11), to be thankful for all that He has given me, and to rest in his nearness because that is where I will find contentment and true, lasting joy. Not in the ideal.
What things are you struggling with lately? How can I encourage you and lift you up in prayer?
Little bitty love,