Quarantine season has afforded us many revelations through our time of solitude, and it has also made space for us to take a good, hard look into the ins and outs of our heart and our days. As our leaders created preparation plans for each of our states, I remember there was a national call to urgency in preparing ourselves and our homes with enough food and supplies to last us 2 weeks. Everywhere we went, we could see more and more bare shelves where food and essential supplies were once displayed. Suddenly, one of the major goals for every person had become to ensure that they had more than enough of everything they could need readily available in their own home.
Throughout my life, I’ve always been the type to have an extra item or two in my closest for just in case. Whenever I prep for short or long term trips, I ensure that I have more than enough supplies (and snacks!) with me, just in case. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been known for packing snacks in my bag for road trips near and far, just in case. Yet, prepping for a state-wide lockdown was different, it required lots of thought, careful planning and lots of re-evaluation culminating with seemingly endless trips to the supermarket, and an infinite amount of memes spreading through social media with an aim to either diminish or heighten the severity of the impending stay-at-home orders. Having extra things, just in case, became a very real, new-normal necessity and having more than enough of our essential needs suddenly became the order of the day. While it’s easy to amass, evaluate and bring together what we do have, assessing what we don’t have is not always an easy, or fun, task. Evaluating what we lack requires that we recognize and acknowledge the areas and places in both our lives and our personal preparation that fall short of basic needs. Having to evaluate what we lack in our lives requires that we face the reflection in the mirror staring back at us constantly posing the question:
how is the state of your soul?
It’s often easier to bring what we do have to God. When we look around our lives and identify the gifts, the talents, and the material possessions in our lives, we can more easily gather them together and place them before God. We can use our gifts and talents to create or dream-up something, we can gather items from our pantry and use them to serve the needy, we can even collaborate with someone else and together create and share something tangible that will satisfy someone else’s need. But what do we do about the things that we don’t have? Is it possible to serve God, and others, with the things that we lack?
There is a need in each and every one of our lives. From that need that keeps us up late at night, to that need that we anticipate becoming very real in the next few months, to the need left by the emptiness of not being able to help someone else with their own need—each one of us has very real needs felt deep within our hearts, and the best thing that we can do with each and every one of those needs is: bring them to God. Bring to God our needs. Bring to God what feels impossible. Bring to God the lack in our lives. Bring to God the hope of the reality that we want to see happen. Bring to God the miracle in our life that even after all these years we still have not seen come to life. Take that need and the desperation that is within it, dust it off, bring it to light, and bring it to the feet of Jesus.
As I approach life, I can find myself getting very excited about the things that I have. From giving someone “the perfect gift”, to cooking them a favorite meal or sharing with others an encouraging word, I can sense excitement fill me when I feel that I’m prepared, that I’ve done all that I could have and are able to offer something to my loved ones and to the feet of Jesus. But when it comes to the things that I lack, when in comparison it seems like what I have is simply not enough, I rather run from the need than surrender it because it’s so much easier to pretend that the need is not there than to try to fill it. Yet our God wants to bless us above and beyond anything that we could ever hope and dream. The greatest accomplishment that we as humans could ever do through our own greatest effort and might, pales in comparison to who God is and the mighty power that’s in Him to redeem. The outcomes God can offer us despite our grim circumstances are better than anything we could ever accomplish on our own, but this requires for us to be desperate for Him and not give in to earthly desperation. God wants to be the one that we turn to in moments of desperation because as we do, He can make way for a miracle to transform our lack, and that is only possible when we are willing to present our needs, our lack, before Him.
As you discover in your life so many things that you are lacking, remember that God will build you up as you place your trust in Him. You may feel stuck in a desolate place, like you are not ever going to go anywhere from here, but Jesus is not going to go anywhere either. From the beginning of time He’s vowed that He will be with us now and through the end of time as we know it. So if you’re feeling broken, you don’t have to go anywhere right now. You can stay right in the broken place that you are and surrender it to Jesus. Allow God to comfort you with His hope, the kind of hope we never know we have, the kind of hope we never have truly known before, the kind of hope that comes out of a completely broken heart. You can stay right where you are in that broken place, because God is not going to go anywhere either. He is with you, He is waiting to cover you in His love which means you won’t actually stay there broken—you will be rescued, made new, again, by His love. He’s your refuge. He’s your strength. He’s your hiding place, and it’s safe to come as you are and dwell in the shelter of His wings. It’s safe to be in His care, even with a broken heart, even with every lack that you are experiencing today in your life.
Even if all you have to offer God is your brokenness, bring God the offering of your brokenness.
The God that is with us is greater than the circumstances that we are in. Brokenness is not comfortable, desired or coveted, yet sometimes it feels like it’s the only abundance in our season, and even there we can grow strong because there is redemption waiting for us. What is unknown about our season and what we lack in our lives doesn’t have to obscure or overshadow what we do know about God. He’s not standing by waiting for the moment that we grow stronger, He’s standing by waiting for the moment that we surrender to His strength, for God’s strength is always waiting for us. As we feel broken and we find ourselves surrendering to God, let’s remember that it is that very brokenness that brought us to the place that we needed to be, to the place where God is ready to move. Let’s allow God to take us from a place of brokenness, a place of lack, and on to a place of undeniable strength and overwhelming joy.
Storybook endings don’t hold a candle to faith-filled beginnings, and the time for your new, whole-hearted beginning has come. Outside of time, He stands, ready to save and powerful to redeem.
by Wendy Gonzalez for www.thehoperesolve.com