Friday, September 23, 2011

Eat What's On Your Plate, Then We'll See About Dessert

Although our eighteen month old son isn't aware what dessert is and doesn't get to experience dessert all that often, my husband Brodie and I seem to frequently say to Zachary the phrase, "you need to eat what's on your plate first..."  For some reason, whatever food in view that is NOT on Zachary's plate seems much more enticing to him than what he has been given.  It's not just Zachary's struggle, I'm sure. Regardless of how old we get in this life, I think this is a pretty common response to the "portion" we've been given on our own "plate".

Lately, I have had a little bitty battle with what I'll call MyDreamsAreTooBigForMe Syndrom.  I have been dreaming of some things that seem to be just out of my reach and I feel completely powerless to achieve them.  Some folks would say, "Bummer.  So what will you do instead?" Some folks would say, "well, that's a great place to be, Becky.  That means if you can't achieve those dreams then it's a perfect moment to watch God make it happen.  He is the One who is able and all-powerful to make dreams come true."

I battled with these thoughts a bunch this week.  I still have those BIG dreams, but I am struggling to keep them in my mind as something actually achievable.  I struggle with thinking maybe all these BIG dreams I have aren't going to ever happen. This struggle in my heart and mind has caused me to begin to feel guilty for dreaming up all these dreams in the first place. And to think I've spent YEARS prepping and waiting for them to come about. Wow, I sometimes think, if they don't come about, I've wasted SO much much life.
Looking at this situation now, while writing is apparent that those moments of defeat were on the days that I didn't read God's Word much and didn't let the Truth of God's amazing grace, love and hope fill my heart and mind. 

Now, to tell you that when I DID dig into God's Word this week, it has been such a wonderful help to my soul in all this turmoil of differing viewpoints in my mind lately.  I was reading Psalm 119 this week.  I chose it because I needed a shot in my arm about the necessity of putting God's Word to work in our lives.  I know that I need to crave the words of my God more than I do.  Since He is the Creator of all I see and all I don't see, he is able to set me straight on what dreams are backed by Him and what dreams are not.  Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and this week, I must admit I didn't read the entire chapter simply because I was amazed by the first fourth of the chapter that I was jotting down notes in the margins in my Bible next to the text.  I was underlining and drawing arrows to certain parts of the text that were to go with the notes I just wrote. I was looking up other verses in other chapters of God's Word that were speaking about the same topic. Here are some of the verses I found that just brought me back to center.

The first verse I found this week which gave me something new to pray whenever I got myself all wrapped up in looking for dessert instead of finishing what portion I have been given on my plate is Psalm 119:36-37.

"Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways." -Psalm 119:36-37

Then I found another short verse in the same chapter that simply states:

"The LORD is my portion;" -Psalm 119:57a

At that verse, there was a little footnote. That note led me to one of my favorite chapters in Psalms.  What a blessing it was to read it in a new light this week as I struggled with being content and patiently waiting for my big dreams to come about.  Psalm 16 is where the footnote led me to read.  I will write out a few bits and pieces of the chapter.

"Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." -Psalm 16:1-2

"The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure."- Ps. 16:5-9

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." -Ps. 16:11

To have the LORD, the God of the universe, the Most High God, as my portion and my cup....I should be thrilled.  I should be at such peace and rest in the fact that HE is my portion.  That I don't need anything else, anybody else, any big dream to be what or who satisfies me.  God can be my portion. When I surrender my "selfish gain" mode of thinking over to Him, He gives me life! (That's what His Word says...Psalm 119:36-37)  I LONG to be content like the Psalmist David was when he wrote this song thousands of years ago.  I want to be trusting that God will give me just what I need for each day.  I want to be content that His plan will prevail, but that it will prevail in His timing and not mine. 

May you have a blessed day. May we all find ourselves sincerely declaring inwardly and maybe even outwardly that the LORD God is our portion forever.
Love you all, dear friends!