In some way, God is always meeting needs that I don’t know I have and answering questions I haven’t thought to ask. And because I don’t really know what I need, I often have trouble recognizing and accepting what God offers me to fill that need. So many times, I’ve been so focused on the mountain of things I think I need--God’s help with making an important decision, improving a difficult relationship, solving an impossible problem--that I haven’t been able to see past it to get a glimpse of what God is giving me. Only when I am really willing to spend a lot of time in prayer can I sometimes see beyond my mountain of needs. Right now, if I’m really honest, I have to say that what I want God to give me is solutions, but I have a feeling that what God wants to give me is the ability to trust that he’s got it all under control.
This pattern of being unaware of what we really need and unable to recognize and accept God’s answer to that need is as old as history, and is woven through all the readings this week. God was leading the Israelites to an amazing future, but they longed to go back to slavery in Egypt. The people were hungry, and God sent bread from heaven, but the people asked, “What is this?” The crowd saw Jesus as a miracle worker who could multiply bread, and did not recognize that he was offering something far greater than bread--the gift of his own self, the gift of a relationship with him. When we are focused on our needs, it is just so hard for us to see what God is doing.
One element of growing in our faith is learning to align our vision more and more with God’s vision. With God’s grace, we can begin to see more of what he sees, and begin to sense what he is working on in our lives. We can gradually become less concerned about what we think we need, and more open to receiving what he knows we need. And so much of the time, what we really need is to go deeper in relationship with him. In the end, the things we think we need are like food that perishes, but a real, active, living relationship with the Lord endures for eternal life.
Take your next step: Spend a couple of minutes opening your heart to God and telling him what you really want him to give you. Then ask God to give you a glimpse of what he really wants to give you. Share your response by adding a comment here on our blog: What I want God to give me is… But I have a feeling that what God wants to give me is…