Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tripping over Treasures {while Praying for a Penny}

The day after I shared the story about being challenged by my son's response to the marbles spilling all over, I had my own marbles tossed again. Nothing serious, but an emotional mack truck, nonetheless, that struck a deep chord.
Of course, completely unexpected.

To set the stage, one thing I discovered on my recent health adventure was a surprisingly long list of food allergies, and so I've been on an incredibly limited diet ever since. (We're talkin', I can pretty much count on both hands what I can eat.) And since my strength has been slow to be restored, it's been a long time since I've shared a meal with anybody aside from my husband and son (or my parents who lived with us for several months in the heat of the crisis).
Until the other night.

We sat down at the table with some family, and I didn't think much of the fact that I was unusually quiet throughout the meal because it was preceded by a tremendously rigorous day, and so I was spent! But as soon as we were home and I walked in the door, the flood gates of tears completely broke open. Seemingly out of nowhere. And all of a sudden, I realized how painfully my loss of dietary freedom was impacting me.

I was (again) feeling precicely how my son had felt the day before when he simply wanted the sense of order that had been lost to "be like it was before" . . . It was hard to not have a freedom I've always known -- the freedom to be able to eat whatever I want without any thought whatsoever. And even though I'm not one to wear my heart on my sleeve, apparently it showed all over my face when a plate of mouth-watering bruchetta was passed around, because somebody commented on my longing eyes.

It was awkward, too -- to join (or rather, not join) a typical meal setting. Not because of anything anybody said or did. Simply because I was different, which sadly, I avoid with a passion doesn't tend to be my comfort zone. And so this time, I was the one curled up in my Heavenly Father's lap, and husband's arms, crying out for something that I couldn't have.

I am grateful that I embraced the freedom to hurt and let it all out. And the freedom to say, "This is hard, Lord." And while I made it a point to thank Him for a couple of specific things from that evening, it felt contrived. It seemed near impossible to be genuinely thankful in that moment. I was struggling hard to keep perspective, and I desperately needed His help to pull it off.

I then acknowledged Him as the lifter of my head, and asked Him to please lift my eyes off of my circumstances and onto Him.

And He did.

Because then, He prompted me with this thought:

Instead of praying for restoration of something that I used to have,
why not pray that I would gain something that I've never had before?

In Him.

Truth in weakness, friends.
I'm ever grateful for it.

And please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that God doesn't want us to bring our hearts' desires to Him. He absolutely does. Big and little! But, what if in our limited perspective, we pray for what we think would be best, while missing out on something far better? . . .

Do you ever do that kind of thing? Focus on praying for something, while likely missing treasures along the way? It's hard to see the treasures (or potential treasures) when life gets intense, isn't it? Or maybe you've walked that kind of road, and had the experience of your eyes being opened to a treasure along the way -- or after the fact. Either way, I'd sure love to hear.

Will you join me in seeking to walk by faith and not sight by asking God to open our eyes to treasures that He has that far surpass anything that we could ever ask for? . . .


  1. Hey sis,
    Thanks for sharing your heart here. Yes, I've had this same experience in my journey.

    Once while praying for healing, the Lord told me not to seek after healing but to seek after Him; not to seek after answers but to have Him alone as my goal. And what I've found is that I am finding joy in my journey, even in spite of healing not coming....because I'm finding Jesus.

    I'm so thankful the Lord prompted me to seek Him & make Him my goal instead of those lesser things. He alone has been my joy & my satisfaction & had I been seeking after healing or answers as my goal - I would've been left frustrated & in despair....& likely missed Him along the way. But now I have hope....because I have Jesus & Him as my heart's desire.

    Don't get me wrong - I still want healing! :D But it's not where my hope lies and isn't my highest goal. Knowing Jesus is.

    Much love & big hugs,

  2. Tanya this is a lovely post. I very much 'get' what you are talking about here. In Ann Voskamp's book 'ONE THOUSAND GIFTS' she talks about this concept of eucharisteo (giving thanks). It is easy to give thanks for the good, positive, happy things. She then goes on to talk about hard eucharisteos, giving thanks for the difficult things, when things go wrong, etc. It's a brilliant book and if you haven't read it yet, I'd encourage you to read it because she addresses this very topic which you are writing about here. Bless you in the journey lovely lady.
    Lots of love,
    Steph xo

  3. Can't imagine how difficult that must have been! Yet, you were able to actually sit at a table with others! And I do "get it" because as you point out, it's so easy to miss the treasures along the way longing for God to give the answers we/I want & forgetting to be thankful for the treasures He has already given.
    Beautiful, Girl!


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