I want it all. And Jason Mraz wants me to have it all too.
Freedom to travel.
The perfect man.
Enough energy and enthusiasm and time to volunteer happily.
Money to make my dreams come true.
You know what you want.
What comes to mind right now, most clearly?
But some days you don’t dare even think about it because you know you simply can’t have it. Not now, and maybe not ever.
You’re working hard, struggling, fighting the good fight, putting one foot in front of the other. And somehow your list never gets shorter.
We suffer in silence. We sit and complain. We don’t know what to do. We cry out for help. We want our moms to tell us what to do.
That’s why I particularly like Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He’s that wise parent who’s dealt with it all and still, miraculously, has a better attitude than you. You look up to this person and wonder how they got so strong. In this book of the Bible Paul offers Godly advice to a Christian community in Philippi. My She Reads Truth Bible titles chapter 4 as “Practical Counsel,” but it might as well be called the “Conviction” chapter because it contains all the things I am worst at and need to learn the most.
Paul wrote that while in jail. Kind of puts my situation in perspective.
No matter your to-do list, don’t take your frustrations out on other people. Take it to God. He can handle your attitude and your needs.
Want it all? Ask for it with a humble heart!
God wants us to bring our requests and concerns to him. He won’t shame you for dreaming big, and he won’t turn up his nose at something too small. And thank him for the countless blessings that are already yours!
Is caring for messy, yelling children always lovely?
No, but it is admirable and praiseworthy. You moms amaze me every day and are daily proof that God gives power to those who need it. Meditate on God’s daily provision.
Is a boring desk job excellent?
If you are working with an attitude to do your best with what you have, where you are, to honor God and be a good example to the Christians and non-Christians around you, it certainly is! Think of the blessings your position allows to flow into other people’s lives as well as your own.
Is there anything actually good about being single?
Sure is! And I’m not just using this as the “pure” example from the passage that we should think on. Some people praise singleness for its opportunities to serve, and this can be true and right and noble. But sometimes these opportunities overwhelm me because I think that since I am not currently tied down with a husband and children, that this is the time in my life where I should be able to have it all. Endless me time AND service time. But that is still not true for anyone, no matter your age or status. I have to think through the things in my life and see if they fit God’s plan. Lay each hope before him. Meditate on the good. Cut the bad, and don’t turn back.
Are you dreaming of something… more? Do you want something crazy? Does it fit these good guidelines? Then pray about it and see if God is leading you to make it happen.
Put. It Into. Practice.
Praying is step one. But if you plant your feet and only reach your hand out for a goal, you’ll never get it. You need to take another step. And then another. Constant communication with God is the wind propelling you forward.
Sometimes this is the motivating verse that helps us believe we can accomplish anything! I can do. All. Things. If you have a task, a goal, a dream that God wants you to pursue, he will help you make it happen. If God in his wisdom knows it’s not meant for us, it will fizzle, and with constant communion with the Lord, he will let you know what to let go of.
Other times this verse can mean something different. God doesn’t always give us the strength to achieve. Perhaps it’s more the strength to stay and be ok. Paul says he has learned to be content… and he can do that because God gives him strength. Be, not do.
God cares more about our character than our accomplishments. Sure, God can give us focus, talent, and resources for a project, but other times he gives us superhuman strength contentment with what we already have.
Every situation is faced with God’s strength, not our own. We don’t just turn to God when we get to the hurdle, he’s with us on the flat parts, allowing us to keep moving and preparing us for that next leap.
In Jesus, we already have everything. When our lives our busy, dreams get tossed to the wayside, and nothing looks the way you wish it did, we still have what matters most.
For that, I’m counting every blessing.