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I had a revelation today. I was thinking through this past year, all the goals God had laid on my heart, and how remarkably nearly all of them had materialized. It’s been a year of abundant blessing after leaving a season of strong storms. I have taken the time to celebrate God’s victories in my life, to honor Him and others for those blessings. I deeply believe in marking moments, of acknowledging the victories in life because I think God wants me to! That way, when the next storm hits I have these moments as all-important reminders of His faithfulness to me.

Still, being the driven soul I am, I have to admit my thoughts drifted quite quickly from the many blessings to those few goals left that hadn’t materialized. I was sort of frustrated about one area in particular because it’s the one thing I most wanted. I asked God why not this one thing, this one key area? Why couldn’t this one area come to fruition?

And—here comes the revelation—God answered me in a most unexpected way! He didn’t remind me to be patient, as He has in the past. He didn’t tell me He had my back so I didn’t need to worry. Nope! Instead, He gently reminded me it wasn’t going to be that one more thing that would complete my happiness, fulfill me or bring me more permanent joy. That peace, joy and love come from within me, from being secure in who I am with God.

It really struck me in that moment how easy it is to think it’s just that one more thing we need in order to be “happy.” It can be a relationship, a promotion, a dollar amount, a home, a certain car—you know what it is for you! The thing is the joy from these things is short lived. Even something as deep and meaningful as a relationship can’t complete you or give you a sense of joy you don’t already have, not on a permanent basis. We set ourselves up for disappointment when we forget there’s only one true source of joy: love. And true, deep, unconditional, unfailing love can only come from our Creator and our walk with Him. Only He gives us that sense of complete acceptance and deep worth regardless of our failures and challenges.

I got the gentle reminder I needed: you can’t give away what you don’t already have. The answer isn’t one more thing; it’s digging in deeper into God’s love and grace for me, of knowing my infinite worth before Him. It’s in remembering I belong to Him, and in His eyes our relationship is worth every price He has had to pay. It humbles me, God’s love. It fills me with truejoy.

Interestingly, the more I learn to let go of my desires and the outcome, trusting Him instead, the more He blesses me. It’s like I untie His hands when I finally quit holding on so tightly! I walked away this morning not praying for my goals, but instead praying for God’s peace and for my trust in His will.

For Further Thought: Matthew 6:33 tells us, “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” What is your one area you need to work on surrendering and trusting God in? What is something you can do to tie in more deeply to God’s love for you?

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