I Iwas asked a profound question by Bishop Patterson. He asked me to just think about my answer. I mean really think about it and give myself the answer. Our specific topic of conversation is not relevant here nor in this devotional but, the question is timeless. “What do you want?” This is the question of the ages. What do I want?
Yeah, I could rattle off a series of superficial things like cash, cars, and charisma for the ladies, but those would ultimately leave me empty and unfulfilled. I could ask for health and happiness, but those also would lead to an emptiness unexplainable. I could asked for an infinite number of things that would result in the same feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and dissatisfaction that could lead me to a pit fit only for the devil himself. But what do I want? The question is not what I want, but who I want.
Now, I know what most of you are thinking: I could pray up the woman of my dreams and live happily ever after. The scene from “Coming To America” comes quickly to mind. The one where the king was trying to convince his son, the prince, to choose a bride. The king brought his son a young woman who was raised to be the wife of a king. She only wanted, liked, and did whatever he liked. I have a wry grin on my face as I write this because for a lot of men, that would be a fantasy come to life. But, what do I want?
I lost my wife to cancer over three years ago now. I am left to care for my 5 sons: 21, 12, 11, 9, and 7. That is not the hard part. The laundry, food, homework, yard work, etc. are a challenge at best. You would think I would want a maid, gardener, or even to become independently wealthy to be able to pay for all of these. The hugs, wiping their tears, holding their hands… yeah, those hurt a lot. Looking into their bright and hopeful eyes, searching endlessly for the answer that will bring their mom back to them, here on earth – that right there is a killer. But the one that tops all of those without question, is the one that tears my heart right out of my chest. It is their futures without their mother around to experience life with them. Yeah. That’s it right there… I could then so easily want for their mother to come back, but that is not possible. And I am not ready for them to go and be with her either. So, what do I want?
I want the one and only thing that will Prince says “will make everything alright.” I want God. I want what the Lord wants for me. I want His perfect will. I have suffered and just barely existed for far too long. I just recently realized that for far too many years, I had been living God’s permissive will. The place below what he planned and ordained. That place where I made my own choices and twisted truth into some shadowy image of what I was supposed to have. Content to just settle for life apparently and not life abundantly. I would justify it and think “this is apparently what God wants for me, wants me to be, do, have, say, etc.” In John 10:10, Jesus said that “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (NASB). This is not just a prosperity preacher mentality. This is from the Word of God. The word here for life, zōē, means something that is animate, living, a living soul. The word for abundantly, perissos, means more, beyond measure, exceeding. God came in the person of Jesus so that we may have and live a life that exceeds our expectations, not one that just met our expectations. The fall of man in the Garden of Eden already provided us that lovely luxury. It’s time for a change. A change in our mindsets. A change in our actions. Psalm 37:4-5 (NIV) says “4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:” All we have to do is believe it, want it, and go for it with all that we are! I want God. In Him is everything I need (2 Pet. 1:3): Who I will love, what I will do, where I will go, etc. And unlike cheating on my diet, it’s all guilt free.
Lord, thank you for being the best part of our lives. Thank you for being in the details of our lives. Every area has been determined. I rejoice in the fact the you are speaking to us and through us right now. I just name, amen.
- John 10:10 (NASB) – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
- Proverbs 37:4-6 (NIV) – 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
- 2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV) – 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.