Have you ever received everything you ever wanted? Have you ever been so full, with all needs completely met, that you were perfectly and entirely at a place of peace and contentment?
As kids growing up in our household of four, our parents were generous towards my brother and me, especially at Christmas. Now I am not saying or suggesting that we were spoiled (others might argue), but we did have a nice stockpile of toys. I mentioned the Sears Christmas catalog on Sunday and how my brother and I would search the pages and circle all that we hoped to receive as gifts. Mom and Dad tried to get as many of those circled items for us as they could fit in their budget. Some years, they couldn’t get most of the items, but sometimes it meant that nearly all the circled items were under the tree! It was so exciting to rip into present after present and be overjoyed that something we wanted was now actually ours!
If you could have such a Christmas now, where item after item was provided (not at your own cost of course), what would you circle on your list?
What if you could ask for, and receive, more than just things? If you could receive healing, transformation, relationship, etc., what would you circle?
After Christmas, and all through the rest of winter break, my brother and I would play for days and days with the new toys, and we were so excited to brag to our friends when we got back to school! For a few days or weeks, we were living it up like small kings. Time would pass though, and with the passing of time came the fading of the excitement and joy. By the time the next Autumn had rolled around, a new Christmas catalog would be released, and a whole new batch of circles would fill the pages! Funny how we can get exactly what we think we want, but the joy and contentment will fade.
So that brings the question, “Did we actually get what we really wanted?”, or did we merely get a taste of something we were really longing for?
If you got everything on your list, would your joy truly last, or would it fade and a new list emerge?
Jesus said that eternal life (think heaven, paradise, etc.) is to know God, and to know Himself, Jesus.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.John 17:3 NIV
I want you to read the following sentence a couple of times.
Everything I could ever want is found in Jesus.
God created us with big hearts, big imaginations, and even a spirit of adventure, right? But what if all the things we chase (or dream of chasing) and think are going to fill us are simply breadcrumbs that are meant to lead us to Jesus?
Everything I could ever want is found in Jesus.
You may be craving love, relationship, and intimacy, but isn’t that ultimately about being truly known and accepted at the deepest level? Only One can truly meet that need.
You may be craving adventure, conquest, or entertainment, but isn’t that ultimately about having a profound and exhilarating purpose? Only One can truly meet that need.
You may be craving vacation, a beach, or a distraction, but isn’t that ultimately about having true peace and security? Only One can truly meet that need
Everything I could ever want is found in Jesus, and everything I think I want is a breadcrumb on a trail that is meant to lead me to Him.
It’s interesting what this statement does to temptation and how it can impact your prayer life. If I know that whatever temptation seems to be floating around is actually a pale shadow of what I could truly find in Jesus, what power does that fleeting shadow now carry? If I know that, in Christ, my dry and thirsty soul can find living water that wells up to eternal life, how does that change my time of prayer?
Now you may be thinking that we will have all those things once we are with Jesus in heaven. In a sense, that is correct.
The Bible says, in a chapter that tells us all about what love truly is,
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV
There will be a day when we will fully know Jesus and fully be known by Jesus, but we don’t have to wait for that day to experience a taste, even if it is a mere faint reflection, of what that will be like. That taste is more than what the items on your list can provide.
I am challenged and encouraged to include more and more of this in times of prayer; to say, “Everything I think I want is actually found in You, Jesus. Help me to find that here in this time together.” While I am far from perfect in my consistency, I find that even bits, morsels, (breadcrumbs?), of this kind of prayer, create room for the God who is bigger than any list I could compile.