Thursday, July 5, 2012

Good gifts?

I have been reading the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. This book has been on my reading list for years now, and I kept putting it off. Honestly, I thought to myself, "I think I have pretty healthy boundaries in my life. I'm sure it's an interesting book...but I don't really need to read it." Truly a naive thought. But I kept hearing about the book left and right, with recommendations from friends or quotes/references to it. So I finally caved in! And God has been blessing my time as I've been reading it.

One quote from the book recently stood out to me:

"God loves to give gifts to his children, but he is a wise parent. He wants to make sure his gifts are right for us. To know what to ask for, we have to be in touch with who we really are and what are our real motives. If we are wanting something to feed our pride or to enhance our ego, I doubt that God is interested in giving it to us. But if it would be good for us, he's very interested."

Wow. This really cuts to the core in its honesty and clarity, and it leads me to reexamine my prayers and requests to God. Am I truly examining my heart and motives when I ask God to intervene? Do I trust that God is my 'wise parent' and that He knows what's best, rather than what I think is good for me? Am I expectantly awaiting God's good gifts? These are hard questions and examining them has revealed my many shortcomings!

When we began our journey to Austria, we knew it would be a long and hard road getting there. But we told ourselves and others that God would use this time to mold and shape us, helping us grow into the people He wants us to be when we arrive. That's a great thought, right? But sometimes it's easier to say it than to believe it deeply. It's one thing to ask God to challenge you because you know you will grow...but it's another to welcome challenge when you're in the thick of it. And there have been some low points in the journey where I didn't necessarily want to be "molded and shaped" anymore.

The Boundaries quote has brought me back to focusing on trusting God's provision and plan as our loving Father, no matter what hardship lies ahead. It brings me back to a healthy examination of my requests to God. It reminds me that God knows best.

What does this quote lead you to dwell on in your relationship with God?