The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.
Ugh. Why won't this line go ANY faster?
I remember thinking this many times while standing in line at Highland Park Cafeteria as a child. At that age, it was my favorite restaurant in the entire world. Why? Because I could select whatever I wanted to eat from a long, long line of hot pans that were overseen by friendly people in white shower caps and plastic gloves.
We only went to this cafeteria for special occasions: out-of-town relatives coming to visit or Thanksgiving (if mom didn't want to cook; and that only happened once that I can remember, so we're talking really special).
Even though I could select whatever I wanted to eat, I usually picked the very same entree: fried chicken. Everything else at the cafeteria was surely tasty and most likely good, but in my mind the fried chicken was the "holy grail" of food and represented what I really wanted most.
As I would wait in line, I would lean over and crane my neck as far as possible so I could see down to where the fried chicken was. I would closely watch the dark meat count (drumsticks and thighs), as I was fearful that there wouldn't be enough for me by the time I got there. What if they run out and I have to wait? I can't hold up the line, and Dad and Mom will probably make me select something else. No!!!!!! I want my fried chicken!
It's hard to remember if I ever did miss out on fried chicken at the cafeteria; it's been so long ago now. But recently I felt like I was missing out on some "fried chicken" as an adult in the cafeteria line of life.
It was during a week when everyone else seemed like they were getting what they wanted while moving through the line—the "good things" that I wanted in my life, too. And I felt like I was left with only a paper napkin and some packaged saltine crackers, while everyone else was getting the "fried chicken." Things like weddings, babies, career success, big vacations and yes ... even cute shoes (it's a female thing). When would it be my turn? How long would I have to wait to get something good?
And then it hit me. Maybe what I think is a good thing is not necessarily what God thinks is a good thing for my life. Ohhhh. If I could just rest in this notion (Isaiah 55:8-9) and stop comparing, it sure would be a lot easier and less work for my aching, craning neck.
My head knows that if I am truly seeking the Lord and his will for my life, then I will want what he wants for me—including what he thinks is good for my life. My priorities should change and my desires should line up with his. But sometimes it takes my heart a little while to catch up, to surrender my desire for "fried chicken" and to accept what God wants for me.
When I pause to think I about it, I know that I already have good things in my life—and in fact, they are "perfect" for me as defined by Scripture (James 1:17). I just don't always see them as such.
Father, may you reveal today what we are clinging to that may not be good as you define it. Help us to put our hope in YOU for you alone are good, and you are the source of every good thing in our lives.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
What represents "fried chicken" to you in your life's cafeteria line? Are you willing to let it go, to seek what God wants for you and to thank him for what he deems "good" in your life? Today, make it your aim to "taste and see that the LORD is good" (Psalm 34:8). And purpose to take your refuge in him.