Christmas is coming!
Okay, it's months away, but it's coming. In my home, that means I have a boatload of things to do. My tree theme, my gifts to make, my cards to get in order... There's a lot. And, if I'm honest, the days of making a wish list aren't over. Not that I make a list and give it out to people with the demand that they give me what I ask for, but I see things and think 'oh that would be nice to get'. Wish lists aren't bad, after all. Wedding showers and baby showers definitely are helped out by having them. Birthday or Christmas wish lists are great.
We have wish lists in life, too, if we think about it. We have a dream or goal, or something we want in life that we keep stored in that mental wish list. The problem is, oft times we are so set on this wish list that we ignore anything that's not on it. We set our hearts on getting exactly what we expect from off this list and don't pay attention when God is sending something different.
A person might have their heart set on a particular job. Whether or not they are qualified or able to get that job, they hold out for it, passes opportunity after opportunity. They ignore God-sent employment opportunities in hopes of getting that perfect job they've dreamed of, never getting the career they always wanted. Or maybe they do finally get it, but it isn't at all what they expected or dreamed it would be. They've wasted their life trying to achieve a dream that wasn't right for them, despite their wish list being checked off.
Perhaps it's a person waiting on their future spouse. They've got a list, a image, made up in their head. Maybe its hair or eye color, maybe it's height or fitness, maybe shoe size (silly example, I know) but they choose to ignore everyone who doesn't fit that list. They want blonde hair and green eyes, and ignore anyone who comes along with brown hair and blue eyes. They want a 5'10" slim, trim and strong, so they ignore someone who is 5'6" and average. They want someone who is quiet, so they ignore the charismatic personalities that come along. Or maybe it's a specific person. They wait their whole life waiting on one person, and ignore all other possibilities. Before you know it, the person waiting has lost the potential for a lifetime of happiness waiting for the other person, who has found happiness.
I'm not saying you can't have dreams about what you would like to do for employment or for your future spouse, but I am saying be careful passing up blessings God may send because they aren't exactly what you decided they needed to be. Just because you may see what is on your wish list as they only things that will make you happy does not mean they are what God intends for you.
Part of abiding in God's Will is making sure we are willing to give up what isn't His Will for us, even if that means putting aside our dreams. God won't give you something that isn't better for you in one way or another, so you can be sure if He asks you to lay aside your ideals for His Will, it's for your good.
He wants you to be happy, yes. But God wants you to be happy in Him. In what He gives. How much longer happiness will last if it's found in God's Will rather than our own desires!
Will God give you that 1950s hot rod you've dreamed of owning? Maybe not, maybe He will send a good, reliable work truck instead, knowing it's substantially more useful in life.
Will God send your dream husband, ladies, who is 6'5" and has dreamy gray eyes and wears a suit and tie 24/7? Maybe not, but He will send you a man who will love you and share a lifetime with you, if you're willing to seek His Will for your life.
Will God give you that perfect job with three weeks paid vacation and a cushy corner office where you can work as you please, get paid ridiculously, and have an assistant always at hand? Maybe not, but He might give you a good job that requires hard work and sweat, blood and tears, that teaches you to appreciate home at the end of a day of hard work.
Sometimes we can be miserable if we get exactly what we want. But we're always happy when we're in God's Will, whether it's what we were expecting or not. When we're willing to give up what we want for what He wants for our lives, we find true happiness.
So, I guess in other words, be careful what you ask for. Just because you want something, doesn't mean you need it, you will get it, or it's God's Will for your life. What you ask for might be the opposite of a blessing God wants to send you, and you could ignore it for something that will hinder you rather than help you.