It is a fact that we all have needs!
We have absolute needs such as water, food, clothing and shelter. We cannot survive very long without these. The needs for clothing and shelter may vary but can also be classified as necessities at times!
We also have less pressing needs. These are perhaps, not as immediately life threatening, but can still be very important to us over the long haul. For example, it has been said that a baby will die if it is not hugged regularly. I have not tested this personally because I cannot resist hugging babies!
God made us to need a certain amount of companionship in this world. God Himself declared that "it is not good for man to be alone." (Genesis 2:18)
We also have "felt" needs. These are those things we "feel" we need and can range from "needing a cappuccino" to "needing a more stimulating occupation."
Often God allows us to feel these needs so that we will draw close to Him so that He can meet those needs. Alternatively, God can fill a void within us during this process which makes the "felt need" much less urgent or even nonexistant!
A child "feels" he or she will "die" without the latest toy. Likewise, many teenage boys "feel" that they will perish if they cannot own a Mustang. Teenage girls "feel" death will be imminent if they cannot buy a certain pair of shoes. For the most part, we outgrow these "needs" and yet we do not die as previously expected!
It can be difficult at times to discern between which needs are passing fancies and which are legitimate needs - not necessary for survival - but legitimate nonetheless!
We may cry out in loneliness and God seems to be silent or taking forever to meet that need. We may have financial difficulties and call to God for relief but the problem seems to linger. We may feel threatened by some life situation which is stressing us and feel we absolutely need immediate relief.
Why doesn't God spring from His throne to meet these needs when we feel them so deeply?
Take heart - God knows what He is doing! That may sound trite but it is absolutely true!
1. God knows how to separate the need from the want!
Parents may hear their child from his crib in the other room. The child may be saying, "Mommy (or Daddy) come in here" in a playful voice. The child may begin to cry softly to try to influence the parent to come. He may begin to cry more loudly or even scream - yet the parent does not respond!
Why - because his hard-hearted and uncaring? Of course not! The parent simply knows the child has all of his current needs met. He is fed, changed, warm enough and it is his bedtime!
The parents may feel deep empathy for the child and feel a strong urge to go to him. Those who have never been parents have no idea how strong the urge can be to respond when your child cries, even knowing the child has no reason to cry!
The parent knows that they must resist in these situations or the child will be spoiled. There is nothing wrong with visiting your child or going in to reassure them but if it becomes a habit every time he cries, the child will never grow emotionally. Some parents are still carrying their children around for years when they can walk on their own. Each time they put the child down, the parent picks him back up again to stop him from crying!
God knows that we may need to grow up in some areas. If we cry bitterly and complain about how difficult our lives are, every time the Starbucks runs out of mochaccino, God knows that is the desire of a spoiled child - not a legitimate need!
God knows that we will not die if he doesn't miraculously make a mochaccino appear in front of us. In fact, he knows that to grant our every wish would be detrimental to us in the long run and actually make us more unhappy!
Think about it. Who is happier in life - the one who "must" have everything their way - or the one who is content with less?
God trains us to be content with less for our own happiness!
2. God has a better plan!
A child may cry bitterly on the first day of school, wanting to never leave the comforts of his home but the parent knows there is a much better life for him if he does go to school.
It would probably be very comforting to the child if he were allowed to stay home. If the parent said, "Go back to your room. Put the covers on and snuggle up in your bed." That child might "feel" so loved and comforted that he could always stay in the comforts of his home!
It's making me feel warm, cozy and sleepy just thinking about it! Did you ever notice you never feel quite as comfortable and sleepy as when its time that you have to get up for work? Sleeping would "feel" great but earning a paycheck would feel much better later!
What about the "later" for the child who skips school and never leaves his comfort zone? We can all imagine someone who grows up without any education! There are not many success stories among those who have no education! Not merely not having a college degree or even never finishing high school - but never having any education!,
God also has a better plan for us. He fully relates to our "felt" needs, but like the parent who empathizes fully with his child's anxiety on the first day of school, He feels our anxieties deeply! Yet
God knows that if He were to meet the needs we "feel"right now, we would temporarily feel great comfort but never know the joys which we experience only when we move out of our comfort zone!
God would love to tell you to "snuggle up back in your bed" but you would never experience the full plan he has for your life!
We all felt something was wrong and unfair when we were children. "Why do we have to get up?" "Why do I have to go to church?" "Why do I have to dress that way?" "Why can't I eat candy all day?" But when we are grown, we realize that it was far better for us to face the world than to hide in our rooms!
God knows that too and has a better plan for us!
God feels your pain but wants you to know the joys of overcoming!
It may have felt wrong at the time when our parents told us we would be better off if we did something that seemed difficult. But later we are thankful they made us go to school, clean up our rooms and disciplined us!
Our parents were imperfect. Perhaps your parents were unloving, uncaring or cruel. That is the case sometimes! But God is a perfect Father and He will never make us do anything that is not for our best!
9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect...
10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
God not only has a better plan - he has the BEST plan!
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
So don't be discouraged if it seems that God is making you walk a difficult path. Perhaps you "feel" that God is being uncaring instead of comforting you. BUT DISCIPLINE IS A SURE SIGN OF GOD'S LOVE:
5 ...“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
Just remember, God doesn't always meet our latest "felt" needs. He doesn't always do what will make us "feel" better temporarily. He looks ahead and sees, knows and does what is truly best for us!
NOW NO CHASTENING SEEMS TO BE JOYFUL FOR THE PRESENT, BUT PAINFUL; NEVERTHELESS, AFTERWARD IT YIELDS THE PEACEABLE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TRAINED BY IT.
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