As a child, I well remember being very envious of a neighbouring family. There were three sisters, lovely children, who house was grander than ours, with a piano, and they went on wonderful vacations. As the only girl in our family, I longed for playmates, fine toys and to on holidays with them. As a teen and young adult, I quietly envied those who were prettier and more popular, and especially more confident than I was! Since then, I have at times longed for a fine home, a bigger pay cheque, and the ability to travel more.
I wonder if this has been “an arrow in my heart”, as the writer of wrote of, “He shot arrows in my heart. My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs. He has filled me with bitterness and given me a bitter cup to drink…..Yet as I grieve over my loss, yet I dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him!’” (Lamentations 3:13, 21-24 ESV)
God has graced me with much more wisdom since those days, I am grateful to declare. I have learned to appreciate the things without a price, which make me feel rich. These include friends who unfailingly love and surround me, a loving family, the ability to pursue my passions for painting and writing, wonderful memories which make me smile, and have those whom I love to share my life with. The writer of Lamentations assures us that out of His great love and compassion, God provides for us, and is faithful to those who hope in and wait for Him.
We live in a world of hurry and quick answers, and waiting on God can be hard. It’s time to slow down and observe what God has provided today and be grateful. As believers, we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and permitted Him to lead us in our lives. Not surprisingly, the more we wait on God, the quicker we discover Him, His will, and His providing hand.
As we choose to wait on God, then, the desire for wealth and quick answers fades away to a new vision of how He works in our lives and is providing in ways we can’t even see. The arrow in the heart was not having God at the centre of it. “…..be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (James 5:7a -8 ESV)
Prayer: In your hearts enthrone Him; there let Him subdue all that is not holy, all that is not true; crown Him as your Captain in temptation’s hour; let His will enfold you in its light and power (C.M. Noel, 1817-1877). Thank you for being in the centre of our hearts and lives, dear Lord, and for meeting all our needs in your love and compassion. Amen.