October 3, 2007
Better Than Good
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17(NIV)
Is your definition of good different from God’s? I’ve found during the course of my life that I tend to think I know what’s best for me. And since I like to be in charge, I often find myself telling God what I think He should do, or how He should change my circumstances so that all works out for my good. I like it when things go my way. Besides, who knows what’s best for me better than me—right?
God always has our best interest at heart whether we believe it or not. Unlike us, He can see far into the future, and by this, determine what’s best. Unfortunately, you and I often settle for less than good by not trusting God to give us His best. I can only imagine the day we stand before God and see Him as He really is.
Silent before Him in wonder and awe, we’ll say to ourselves, “Why didn’t I hush and do it His way. Oh, what blessings I missed.” It reminds me of an ancient legend I heard about a swan and a crane.
A beautiful swan came to rest by the banks of a pond where a crane was wading, seeking snails. After a few moments, the crane looked at the swan and asked, “Where did you come from?
The swan replied, “I come from Heaven!”
“Heaven?” asked the crane.
“Heaven,” replied the swan. “Haven’t you ever heard of heaven?” And the swan went on to describe the splendor and grandeur of the eternal city. She told the crane about the streets of gold and about the gates and walls made of precious stones. She told about the crystal sea and on the banks stood a tree that healed the nations of the world. In great and eloquent language, the swan described the hosts of saints and angels who lived in the world beyond.
Somewhat surprisingly, the crane didn’t appear to be the least bit interested in the place the swan described. Eventually the crane asked the swan, “Are there any snails there?”
“Snails!” declared the swan, obviously revolted at the thought. “Of course, there are no snails in heaven.”
“Then you can have your heaven,” said the crane continuing its search along the slimy, muddy banks of the pond. “What I want are snails!”
While this story is but an old fable, it reveals a profound truth. Often, you and I turn away from God’s best in order to search for snails.
I wonder if we took a hard long look at God today, would we chose the good things He has to offer us or would we cling to the slimy banks we are so use to…settling only for snails?
Let’s no longer bury our heads in the mud. Look up. God wants to give us His best.
Dear Lord, will you give me a desire for all that you consider good? Help me not to settle for what I consider to be good, but to truly see what’s best for me and embrace it, in Jesus Name’ a-men.
Think back to a time when you chose your good plans over God’s best. Write down the result. Then, think of a time where you chose God’s best over your good. What was the result? How can looking back help you in the future to desire God’s best over what appears to be good in this world?
What are the snails in your life that keep you from God’s best?
Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (NIV)
Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (NIV)
Psalm 25:8, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105