If God Gave Me Everything I Wanted

If God Gave Me Everything I Wanted

You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Exodus 19:4

I’ve often said that even though I’m not thankful for the pain that I caused others, I am thankful for my drug addiction. Through it, God is still teaching me faith and obedience. I’m a far better husband, father, and physician than I was, because of it. More importantly, I’m much closer to God because of it. God has used that calamity to draw me to him. When my life has gone smoothly, with few trials, I haven’t desperately sought God. In my disasters, however, I’ve turned to God, investing time and effort into that relationship, as he’s used my misery to reveal my need for him. Through my addiction, I realized that my way is death and that God’s way is life.

God uses our trials to draw us to him. He created us to live in a loving relationship with him and we are most fulfilled when we find our joy, purpose, and peace in him. It is his continual desire that we engage in that relationship and he uses our trials to show us this. Today’s passage reinforces this truth. In it, God instructed Moses to remind his people that everything they’d gone through in escaping Egyptian slavery had been orchestrated by God to pull his people into an intimate relationship with him. Knowing God is the most important thing in life and God uses the difficult times to show his people how much they need him.

I’ve often thought that perhaps God has it all backwards. God, people would seek you, follow you, and love you more if you just gave them everything they wanted. If you simply ironed out all the wrinkles of our lives, we’d do whatever you wanted. My own experience, however, reveals that this simply isn’t true. As I said previously, when my life has been easy and I’ve had no apparent needs, I didn’t seek God. Rather, I lived for myself. In living for myself, I found addiction, misery, and pain. In that pain, God showed me how much I needed him. Only in recognizing my need, did I turn desperately to God, seeking his will for my life.

If God simply gave me everything I wanted, I’d not seek an intimate relationship with him. Instead, I’d treat him like a genie, taking out the magic lamp only when I wanted something. God desires that I find my joy, purpose, and meaning in him and he uses life trials to reveal my need for him. So, daily, I must recognize my need and turn to God. For it is only in him that all of my life’s greatest needs are met.

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