As we embark upon another year, we are usually filled with expectation, hope and desire that the coming year will be greater than our last. We make plans and write goals hoping to fill that place in our heart we often silently ignore. We search for that one item, relationship, job or destination that will finally complete us and fulfill our desires. And yet, we often finish the year, finding ourselves lacking in our quest for completion or wholeness. Scripture instructs us in 1st Timothy 6:6 that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." We may be pursuing the path of godliness, but how do we find contentment?
Looking back I see in my personal quest, the years of striving for identity, success, love, joy and most importantly that elusive place of peace. Each yearly search, like a kind and disciplined mentor, would guide me back to the truth of my inability to achieve that pinnacle of perfection I desired; as life gently and consistently assisted me in recognizing my own insufficiency. You see, through all the mixture of life - the highs and lows - I have come to understand that we have been made to be insufficient. In our failures, emptiness, our loneliness, discouragement, imperfections and unmet longings, we are given great grace to acknowledge our lack to God, so He may fill us with His bountifulness and lavishness. What remarkable and extraordinary love! Our lack for His supply is simply His stunning design process found in His covenant exchange. We give Him our neediness and deficiency and He fills us with His abundance.
Oswald Chambers in his devotional "My Utmost for His Highest" eloquently expresses the divine setups of life, which are not only used to reveal our need for God, but are often constructed to guide us to a place of surrender to His will and sovereignty. He entreats us on page one: "To shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for one thing - our utmost for His highest" (Phillipians 1:20). In addition, Chambers instructs his reader in the ways of God by stating: "God's order has to work up to a crisis in our lives because we will not heed the gentler way. He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him, and we begin to debate; then He produces a providential crisis where we have to decide - for or against, and from that point the 'great divide' begins." He concludes his devotion with this thought, which I have paraphrased and submit to you for reflection in this New Year 2016: If a challenge comes to you on any given level, consider the possibility of your insufficiency in the situation and surrender your will and lack to Him without question or doubt, that you may enter into His covenant exchange where He will take your circumstances and replace them with His inexhaustible bounty.
As we enter this new year, may you open your heart to recognize your need for Him, as you invite Him, the Prince of Peace into your daily life. And may you be confident that in His goodness and faithfulness, He will fulfill your deepest longings, preserve you in His love and bathe you in His priceless peace.