“These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.”
“Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!”
Reading these two verses in Psalm 104, I began to dwell on the provision and blessings of our God. He gives us our food in due season. He is faithful to give exactly what we need precisely when we need it, even if we aren’t sure of what it is. And as He opens His hand to bless us, He is generous with the abundance of good things.
They may not be the good things we were expecting or searching for, but that doesn’t make them less good. It doesn’t mean we’re settling for less here; it simply means that we need to adapt our expectations to what He has chosen for us. We need to open our eyes to the beauty of God’s specifically, lovingly chosen blessings and trust that they are good and worthy of rejoicing over in their own right. They may look different, but they are just as excellent as anything we might choose.
It can be very difficult (and sometimes painful) to shift our thinking, to surrender what we want and trust in His wisdom and goodness. To quiet our heart and rest in the God whom we have come to know personally. But He is good. He is trustworthy. And if He doesn’t give us what we want or expect, it is simply because He has something even better in store. It isn’t because He is stubborn or thoughtless or cruel. It is because He loves us too much to allow us to settle for less than all that He has for us.
It requires an understanding on our part that what our Lord wants for us is better than what we want for ourselves. He is our Savior, our Father, the One who created us and sees us and knows all of our details. He wants us to maintain our hope, for us to know fullness of joy and to be supremely satisfied in our abundant life, even more than we do. If our desires match up with His plans, fantastic! But if they don’t, we need to recognize that it is good that He withholds what we think we want so that we can enjoy the abundant goodness He has planned.
We won’t be disappointed in the story He has written for us. No, we will be overwhelmed with the glory of His grace. Why would God write a story where we end up disappointed and wondering where His grace was? He wouldn’t get glory that way, and His love and faithfulness wouldn’t be evident. No, the God of Heaven wants our lives to shine with His glory and to be filled to overflowing with evidences of His steadfast love and faithfulness. So whatever happens (or doesn’t happen), we can trust Him. It isn’t a cynical resignation or a guarantee that we won’t get our heart’s desires. On the contrary, God promises to give us the desires of our heart when we delight in Him (Psalm 37:4). So we focus there. We surrender our lives, pour out our heart, and wholeheartedly delight in Christ. And we trust, watching to see how He will fulfill His beautiful promises. Because He will not fail us.