What I Long For


            May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”. Genesis 43:14

            Since Joseph’s disappearance, Jacob had held Benjamin close. He wasn’t going to let him out of his sight for fear that some bad end would also come to him. Years of playing God had become normal but in his old age, God tested him. For all to live, Benjamin must go to Egypt. Jacob didn’t give in easily. At the first suggestion, he adamantly refused. Only famine and the threat of extinction wore him down. He finally abdicated. “If I lose all my children, then so be it.”

            Are you tired of fighting? You’ve held on to hope and clutched your dream. You’ve not let anyone too close for fear that your resolve would be challenged. You’ve controlled things quite artfully. No one knows that your iron will is fragile. I know. I’ve been a dreamer, too.

            No one can predict the moment when I will stop fighting. My resolve to make things work crumbles. The hardened exterior of sheer grit melts away and surrender to God’s providence creeps in. The humility of true surrender marks a stunning turning point in my life as I open my hands toward heaven. “I place all I am, all I have, and all I want, into Your hands, God.”

            Dreams are fragile things as long as I live in a fallen world. Perfection here on earth is impossible. The cancer of sin metastasizes and touches everything I want. While good things do happen and pleasurable seasons come for a time, everything is meant to be a taste of things to come. I am to smell their aroma but acknowledge that the feast is still out of reach. My hope is deferred.

            Ultimately, if I don’t learn to invest all my dreams into the storehouses of heaven, I will feel sorry for myself. Loss and grief will consume me as, with age, I see all hopes of things being different slip through my hands. David said, And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7 Abdicating my dreams, whether for health, relationship, acceptance, intimacy, or vocational fulfillment, and placing each into the hands of a God who will give me all things, brings me peace. I can let my Benjamin go.

            The cataclysmic moment of surrender is messy. It is, at first, tentative. There is despair as I acknowledge that my dream is broken. There is a season of grieving. But then misplaced hope gives way to rock solid hope, the kind that will culminate in the restoration of Eden and restored perfection. Every single thing I long for will be mine.

Help me understand that longing is to mark the life of every saint. Let it be joyful confidence, not discontent. Amen

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