Psalm 34:10 is a verse I write on sticky notes, tape to my bathroom mirror, keep on the dashboard of my car, constantly recite to my friends, or re-circle any time I read it because most times I must be reminded of the Truth that I more often than not, don’t believe over my own life.
Psalm 34:10 reads: Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord lack no good thing. Let me say that last part again (as I do most days to myself) those who trust in the Lord lack no good thing.
As I began to study this verse and apply it to my life, I realized that I felt that there were things that I thought God was withholding from me and I judged His character on it. I would pray and plead and think to myself, “well, God, these are good things and you aren’t giving them to me”. In His kindness, and also a rough pruning and sanctifying process, God began to show me that those ‘good’ things may seem good in my mind but He had not deemed them good during this specific season of my life. I began learning the difference between what I think is good and what God deems as good.
I have always had a fear that I may not be walking in the Lord’s will for my life. Did I pick the right college? If I had picked a different church would I be married? If I majored in a different degree would I be making more? Am I even where the Lord wants me? This fear and those questions genuinely used to cripple my thoughts. In this particular season, I began to feel behind. As I would pray to God, I started to convince God that the things I was praying for were good. My prayers would literally be me telling God what is good about my specific desire and since it's good and He loves me that means God is going to get me a job (or husband, or house, or whatever I am wanting), right? Wrong, very wrong. I would begin to manipulate situations when in reality, I really was missing out on what the Lord deemed as good by focusing on obtaining my own worldly good. Believing that God is withholding good things from us is really just another way of worrying about the future. Every time I have tried to orchestrate or plan or manipulate a plan for my life, it just has not gone well. But the way the Lord has allowed things to work out has been so much better.
Thank you, God, for giving me what I need and not what I want sometimes.
During my junior year of college, a friend shared a letter with me that genuinely changed my life and I hope it can be of encouragement to you, it says:
The real issue seems to be the question affirmed in Genesis 18:25: 'shall not the God (Judge) of all the earth do right?' Once that's settled - God's goodness - then everything else can be found from a Romans 8:28 perspective... God is either all that He claims to be or not: too kind to be cruel, too powerful to be defeated, too wise to make a mistake. We pray because we are instructed to - probably because it is far more beneficial to have an intimate relationship with the God who answers prayer than it is to have our prayers answered. James says that we have not because we ask amiss. Amiss must mean something contrary to God's will - something that will diminish Him - or us - or both. Personally, while I join you in a desire to have my specific prayers answered, I do not want the responsibility for running either the planet or earth or even my own life. I don't know what is best. I feel so much more comfortable telling the Lord, who knows the end from the beginning, that while I strongly desire a specific thing, I do trust His power and goodness enough to believe that what He does is best.
The Lord began to grab my attention and He said very clearly to me that “not only am I your everlasting hope, Katy, but I am worthy of you trusting me with your hope, desires, and dreams.” How do I steward being single, working, and young adulthood well? It’s a daily battle that I struggle with where I get to come to the Lord and say “God I believe that Your word is true, that you withhold no good thing from those who walk with You, help my unbelief” It’s a struggle to trust God with our hope while we look to those around us who seem to have what we are praying for.
If God gives me the literal bread crumbs off his table, that is better than anything in this world has to offer to me. God’s worst is better than the devil’s best. God’s presence is better than any shiny thing that I think I deserve or what I think should be next in life.
Everything inside of the Lord’s will is better than anything outside of it. His presence is better than anywhere without it. I am reminded of the story of Ruth, where she was in the field picking the actual scraps, and little did she know that year and years later she would be in the lineage of the Lord (!!!!!) Now, I am not saying I am Ruth, however, I am saying wow, how much favor did the Lord show her when she was picking up the scraps people didn’t want. And the Lord saw her. But if she hadn’t waited and been willing to walk those fields and pick up the scraps…what would she have missed out on? I want to learn from her and be willing to sit and pick up what I deem as scraps because maybe later what is good is going to look different. I want to be faithful in all seasons, whether it’s the scrap season or the abundant feast. In all seasons, we need to look for His presence. He is here, it’s just a matter of whether or not I am willing to look for Him and see Him. And when I wander outside of God’s will to pray for immediate awareness when I am departing His authority.
Our circumstances often determine what we believe to be true about the Lord. We look at what the Lord has given or not given us and we base what we think God’s goodness is off of those circumstances rather than the Truth of who He is or what He has done in the past. I must remind myself that there is so much hope and so much reminder when we read His word. We will never experience the character of the Lord If we don’t know him, and that begins with God’s word.
If we are willing to seek the Lord, He will not withhold good things from us. His good character. His good plans. If we are faithful to come before him and open his word and take time to step away from our busy schedules to spend time with him and say “teach me about yourself”. There is such power and peace that comes with knowing the King of kings and Lord of lords and Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Get to know the Lord, not just things about Him and you will get to experience his goodness, in a way that he deems good and not what seems good to us.
Lastly, I read Elisabeth Elliott’s book, Passion and Purity, as she desired a specific thing and battled through Scripture and prayer, she said this:
I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by God letting us have our way in the end, but by Him making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience, until we are able to pray what He taught His disciples: Thy will be done.
May this be our prayer – Thy will be done.
Claiming His promises,