I recently read a post from a lady in our hometown of Greeneville, Tennessee. What a blessing to read it and see how she has grown from a teenager in our church youth group, to a newly married, godly woman. With her permission it is copied below.
"My life has been a series of hellos and goodbyes. Jesus gives me
blessings disguised as people, jobs, and activities…only to ask me to
give them up. At times, the aftermath pain seems worse than the initial
joy. But I have come to realize that while I thought I had to have that
thing, I didn’t really know what I wanted. Jesus always knew what I
needed and wanted better than I did! Whether it was a person, or a
possession, or an experience, I found that true fulfillment came when I
was driven to find it in the Lord instead of getting it from something
I was sipping coffee with a friend on
Thanksgiving eve and discussing with her what I considered to be my
losses. I was dropping phrases left and right like, “I gave up” and “I
lost” and “God denied my request…” Despite the obvious Cara-centered
problem, I had allowed multiple idols to take the throne of my life.
With their granted powers, they had overtaken my priorities, my
passions, and consequently, my joy.
her Bible (so cleverly concealed in her large suitcase purse) and turned
to Jonah 2:8. The Lord warns that when we focus on vain idols, we will
throw away our hope of receiving from God. When I look to my blessings
for my value, I am, in actuality, refusing the Love that I so
desperately desire. Blessings do not love back; they simply point to the
Ultimate Blessing. If I depend on my blessings to satisfy me, they
become an idol to me, denying the supremacy of God. When my Savior, in
His perfect omniscience, withholds something from me, He promises that I
don’t need it. If having that “treasure” would have fulfilled His plan
for my life, He would have given it to me. In abundance (see Psalm
What appears to be a loss suddenly takes
on a new light when compared with the gain that I have received in Him
instead. With my idols gone, I find myself crawling back to my Savior,
back where I belong. And in its place, I have gained something far more
eternal and permanent than I could ever have received from the thing
that I lost. The times when God said “No, my Child,” were painful, but
in the long-run not nearly as agonizing as if He had granted me my
desire. When He denies a request, He permits His divine plan to continue
in motion, uninterrupted. As Beth Moore puts it, God’s ‘no’ is just
making room for His ‘yes’.
I imagine it like
this. God has a box with my name on it. His omniscience and goodness
determined before I was born the things with which He would fill my box
to make my life complete. Every time I create my own idol and place it
in my box, I am, literally, boxing out God’s plans for me. The more I
try to stuff my own box, the more I crowd Him out. And the less I give
way to Him, to that extent I will experience less of the fulfilled life
He has for me.
Every time the Lord takes something
away from me, He always has a replacement in mind. And it is ALWAYS
better than what I was clinging to for dear life before.
Because, usually, it is more of Him."
Cara Michelle Cobble, 2009