I’m unashamed to admit that I also really enjoy the gift-giving of Christmas. In fact, a few weeks ago, my dad said the infamous words to that my brother and I anticipate every year:
“Write a list of the things you guys want for Christmas so that I know what to buy.”
There are so many memes that I could use to show how geeked I get when he says that. It’s like the world is my oyster! Even in my adult years, even though I’m able to buy myself those items I put on my list, I smile from ear to ear at the mere thought of my father giving me whatever I want.
Wishlists don’t just happen at Christmas. As a people, we create wishlists, whether in our imagination or by actually writing them on paper, to describe our deepest wants. These are the desires that we usually cannot attain as quickly as we want, but we’re motivated by an internal belief that the more specific we are in our list, the more likely we will get what we want.
We consider our lists to be an opportunity to dream big. Let’s take the new car I’m in search for as an example.
My biggest wish right now is to buy a new car. I’ve had my current car for ten years now and it’s ready to be traded. Here are the specifics of my wishlist:
- Brand new
- Full of the premium bells and whistles
- Black interior and exterior
- The lowest monthly payments I can get
When I think about my list, I easily say to myself, “I think I’m being pretty reasonable.” It’s within our internal dialogue that we convince ourselves that we don’t deserve to compromise if it’s what we really want.
But what if God already had the “perfect” vehicle for me? What if it isn’t brand new, but runs like it is? What if it had an affordable monthly payment and was blue instead of black?
If I don’t open my mind to God’s plans ABOVE my own, I may just miss out on my blessing.
If I ended this post right here, you’d probably be more than satisfied with the point I’m making. I mean, this is easy enough to accept, right?
Okay then – let’s get a little more specific: What about a wishlist for a spouse?
For those of us who are unmarried, our wishlist could potentially be pages long. We figure that if we have a choice in this major life decision, we deserve to get what we truly want. What we tend to discover is that we’ll NEVER find someone who meets all those expectations we dream up. And if we’ve already married someone thinking they’ll eventually meet our original wishlist, we are frustrated that they still haven’t satisfied us.
What we’re doing is limiting God. We’re putting him in a box and expecting him to operate from our perimeters, as if we really know what’s best.
I once had a list of traits I wanted in a husband. I really believed the image I conjured up in my mind was out there waiting for me. Then, like a father denying His child of utter ridiculousness, God metaphorically shredded my list and gave me His.
I found that His desires for me are always better than what I could ever have imagined on my own.
Loves, it’s not wrong for us to want – wanting is what get’s the ball rolling. But placing our hope in a wishlist that WE created can sometimes limit what God can really do. He is not a genie in a bottle waiting on our wishes. He is a father who knows us better than we know ourselves, and will provide for us in ways beyond our frame of mind.
Pull out your list. I’m talking about your secret list that not many people have seen. What does it contain? Are there any areas where you can be more flexible? When my “Perfect Spouse” list was reimagined, I realized that only three things really mattered to me:
- He would have his own relationship with Jesus.
- He continuously worked to be a better man.
- He loved me.
God showed me that if those three things were true of a mate, all the other things I desire will fall into place as well; on the contrary, making all the specifics the TOP of my list would limit everything else.
The same is true for a new car. While my list above would be nice to have, I really just want an affordable car that has low mileage and runs well. Again, keeping the main things the main thing will allow God to come out of the box I placed Him in and bless beyond measure.
‘Tis the season to go back to our lists, pray about them, and remind ourselves to let God be God. We will always be free to dream, but not so far out there that it jeopardizes the plans God already has in store for us.
We should dare to dream, but trust in God’s plans more. Take it from me – you’ll be more satisfied with the end result that way.