I read something a few weeks ago that I simply cannot get out of my head. I was in the waiting room and picked up a book next to me and started reading. The book was about the prodigal son, and I must admit that every time I hear a sermon or read something about the him I'm all like "boring . . . I already know everything about the prodigal son, I've heard it a million times. And yes, I've heard all the times when they focus on the older brother (hello, that's me!) too. There's officially nothing new for me to learn about this story" Ouch, I hate admitting my own pride. Particularly when I am wrong. That said, I'm not quite sure why I kept reading since my tendency would be to skip over it. Probably because I read something I needed to hear.
The book (and I cannot remember what it was called, or who it was by, or anything other identifying factors that might be helpful in any way) talked about how it wasn't until the prodigal son was "starving to death" that he finally decided to go home. And it said: "he needed that empty stomach more than he needed food."
And that struck me because I had never heard that before (oh hello being wrong, it's nice to meet you. not sure if we've met before); and also because it was exactly what I needed to remember in this moment.
God knows our needs more intimately and fully than we know our own needs. Because if you ask me, I'd say I need food more than starvation every. single. time. But God knew that it took an empty stomach to reunite the prodigal son with his father. To bring healing and reconciliation in their relationship.
So often I am SURE that I know what I need. It's like when I water my plants because I'm SURE they just need more water to "perk up," when really (my mom tells me) more plants are killed by over-watering than by being too dry. Oops.
I pray and pray for our house to sell NOW, without realizing that maybe I need this time of preparation more than I need to move. Or that the kids downtown need our hearts to be readied more than they need us to live down there. Or that I need to learn patience and draw close to the Lord more than we need for Him to miraculously sell our house.
And the thing to recognize in the midst of it all is this: Our greatest need is ALWAYS that which drives us into the arms of Jesus. And often that is the harder thing, the "worse" option. The empty stomach.
So what is it in your life? For me, I am recognizing my need for a heart that is set on and content in Christ alone, regardless of what happens with our house and our ministry. Even if I stay where I am for 5 more years (yikes to even write that!), it will be for my greatest good and His greatest glory. And my reward? Will be complete in the moment I see Him running towards me with outstretched arms, welcoming me home and offering grace and reconciliation.
"Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'" -Luke 15:23-24