“I was wishing that my wishes were what God wished, and if my wishes were not what God wished, I wished that I could wish that my wishes would go away, but the wishes were still there…”
Elizabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud the first time I read this quote. It’s silly, but totally commonplace in the minds of many a believer.
Whenever we can’t make up our minds as to what our heart’s desires should be and what we should pray for, it’s common for us to fail at offering up our desires by either unhealthily latching onto them as our sole source of happiness or ignoring their existence altogether. The result?
A very lonely heart.
It is lonely hearts, such as these, that find themselves over, and over, and over again, questioning their worth. Their value. Even their very identity.
God battles daily for the thoughts and motives of our hearts and minds. Don’t focus on thinking “what little I have to offer to God might not be enough for Him”. Instead, focus on what all God has to offer you. Acceptance. Grace. Unconditional love.
Blatantly refuse any and all thoughts of self-pity. It is a deadly thing with the power to feed your feelings of loneliness and worthlessness and destroy your faith. Instead, turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried your griefs and sorrows.
Say no to self and yes to God.
The words “full of joy here and now” depend on the words “taken in the right spirit”. You can’t have one without the other. Taken in a spirit of trust, even feelings of loneliness and worthlessness contribute to the maturing of character. Even the endurance of separation and silence and that hardest thing of all, uncertainty, can build in us a steady hope.
At times, it is absolutely necessary to have Him yank out of sight whatever we most prize, to drag us into spiritual traumas of the severest sort, to strip us naked in the winds of His purifying Spirit, in order that we should learn to trust.
Let not your longing for the light at the end of the tunnel during times such as these slay your appetite for the living in the here and now.
He will lead you where your trust is without borders, and your faith will be made stronger as you offer up your will, your affections, and your heart’s desires under Christ’s control. Be still and let Him do the rest.
If your heart’s desires are leaving you with wishy-washy thoughts floating around in your head like the quote above, leaving you feeling worthless and alone, you are not alone. Nevermind if you can’t discern what His will is. Nevermind if you can’t feel His presence. He. Is. There.
Never, not even for a moment, forgetting about you.
“I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither power from on high nor power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God”.