Thursday, May 28, 2015

Almost


Lately I've been feeling like certain things in my life aren't "enough." Life seems to be at some sort of a standstill and just when I think things are changing, evolving or improving (according to my definition of improving, at least), something falls through or doesn't work out exactly in my favor and I sink back into my disappointed but-why-not-right-now-God mindset (similar to a pouty, stamping-of-the-feet toddler, arms crossed and all).

My thoughts about what is "enough" rarely go much further past a general frustration of my life not being exactly what I want right this moment. That sounds dramatic and is not to say I by any means think I have a hard or sad or disappointing life, but rather - just like all of us, I imagine - there are certainly things I'd change if I were in control (I'm not). The analyzing of "enough" does, however, lead me to questioning God, His timing and His plan for me.

Cut to last Tuesday afternoon, an Instagram of soul food popped up in my feed from none other than Miss Whitney Conner. This may seem irrelevant, but Whitney has been on an 11 month mission trip - her final stop in South Africa this last month - and in seeing this photo, I realized I must have mixed up the dates of her return (shocking, I know). It's hard to say what happened first: gasping and chirping in excitement or clicking the location on her photo just to make sure her plate of southern goodness wasn't from another more southern part of the world (confirmed: Tucker, Georgia, USA is not in South Africa, Africa). Either way, within minutes we were on the phone making plans for catching up over coffee later that evening before heading to Singles Series at Buckhead Church.

On our ride to Starbucks together - a ritual surely missed by this missionary fresh off the fields - I asked Whitney how she felt God had changed her the most over the last 11 months. Her answers were nothing short of fascinating and inspiring, something I have come to expect from my dear and spiritually-minded friend. The first thing she noted was being able to tell the difference between lies from the enemy and truths from God. This includes, she said, seeing when the enemy offers you something that is "almost" what you want,  tempting you to take it and be less satisfied than you would be were you to wait for what God has for you.

This got me thinking back to what I mentioned earlier about the idea of "enough," because enough and almost are two different things.

Almost is "very nearly but not exactly or entirely."

Enough is "equal to what is needed."

The enemy will offer you less than what God has in store for you, often under the guise of immediate gratification that will ultimately result in dissatisfaction, heartbreak, pain, guilt or any number of negative emotions that will tear your down and discourage you.

But God offers exactly what you want, need, desire, deserve, etc. and trusting in His plan and His timing will give you life, hope, contentment, fulfillment and satisfaction.

Whether it's a guy who is "almost" everything you want in your future husband ("he's so nice and fun and charming and cool,  BUT..."), a friendship that doesn't point you in the right direction, a job that's a few iterations away from your dream job that doesn't leave you content at the end of the day, a decision you could make that will almost glorify God (but offers immediate gratification, of course), or anything else that's almost but not quite what you hope for and dream of, or what God hopes and dreams for you, I want you to know that our God is not an "almost" God.

Scripture tells us He is the God of immeasurably (or infinitely) more. (Eph. 3:20)

He is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does. (Ps. 145:13b)

He works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

He never leaves us without evidence of Himself or His goodness. (Acts 14:17)

He knows His plans for us, to prosper and not to harm us. (Jer 29:11)

Someone who is for you, in your corner, fighting for you; who promises He has you in his ever-capable and loving hands; who loves you despite your flaws and died for you so that you might have life to the fullest: someone like that is not in the business of settling for almost anything.

If God isn't providing exactly what you want right now, it's because He has a different, perfect timing for it (read: wait), or knows you need something entirely different (read: wait). This isn't a test and it's not a trick. It's not a sign of God not showing up in your life, lacking to provide or not loving you enough to give you what you want.

All that to say, I think God wants us to hold out for the immeasurably, infinitely more. Because His live is unfailing, not almost unfailing. And he is enough.


***
Please allow me to end this post expressing my sincere gratitude to God for sending Whitney back into my life at exactly the moment I needed her. Whitney, I am grateful for your influence, encouragement, excitement and the community you build around yourself wherever in the world you are (literally). Welcome back, my kindred spirit! Three cheers for Whitney!

No comments:

Post a Comment