Imagine yourself sitting in the most peaceful, reflective, restorative, beautiful place of which you know and close your eyes for a moment. Hear the sounds of the birds, perhaps some water trickling down a brook or pounding into the shore. Smell the air–woodsy, sweet, salty or spicy. Now, if you will, imagine with me a bench–any kind of bench that will fit two people, you and Jesus.
He walks up intently, with the swish of robes, smelling of aromatic spices, and He sits down close beside you. His Presence envelops the space and His arm wraps engagingly ’round about you. Then He asks you in a gentle and loving, imploring even, voice:
“What is it you want, Beloved?”
How might you respond? What things might you say, while holding back others that you want to say. Flippantly you might answer, “Oh peace on earth, a steady job and health for my family.” But Jesus isn’t buying it. You can read it in His eyes. As He repeats the question again, looking you directly in the eyes,
“No, what is it you WANT, Beloved?”
So you sit back and feel the import of His drilling question, and without invitation, a tear courses down your face, as you suddenly find yourself bent over in grief with your head down on your lap. The tears flow freely now. You begin to pour out your soul to Him, as He nods in understanding. He “gets” you. He can handle your wounded-ness. He can hold your tears (keeps them in a bottle, in fact!). I believe He uses those tears to water the things you will sow from this season.
Jesus invites us to ask. He engages us in the conversation of a lifetime, daily–even moment by moment.
This scenario happens to me often, whether I am in the shower, in the car or sitting by the window, considering His creation. He asks me personally and gently, “Holly, what is it you want, Beloved?” I begin to pour it out–the pain, longing, anguish, anxiety and brokenness. I tell Him how I am hurting. I tell Him how I long for restoration, for recovery, direction, reconciliation and resurrection. Sometimes as I sing a song, I begin to cry, as I discover that the words I am singing are really a prayer in answer to His probing question to my soul. But in the end, every single time I hear His question to my heart, I pour out four words that say everything,
“I want You, Jesus. Lord, I want You. More than everything else I have said, I want You, Jesus.”
You see God gives good gifts to His children. He wants us to ask. He waits for our questions.
Like Hezekiah in 2 Kings (Chapters 18-20 are worth your time to read), in all of Judah there was no king like him, ever. He trusted in, leaned on, and was confident in the Lord, the God of Israel. He trusted so confidently, that when he was very ill and near death, even hearing from Isaiah that he was going to die. Hezekiah earnestly prayed and God changed the course of His intended will for Hezekiah. He gave him 15 more years! That in itself is amazing–to know that God hears our earnest prayers and sometimes He even changes the course of His intended will! It is so powerful to believe in the ability we have before God, when we earnestly pray.
But then Hezekiah gets proud and shows off all his riches to a visiting group of Babylonians–everything! It displeases God and God says, I will bring punishment on your children and everything you showed these Babylonians will be taken away into their own hands. You know what Hezekiah did? He basically said, “Oh this is good! At least it won’t happen in my time! Let the punishment fall on my children.”
We are all flawed. We all ask with wrong motives. We ALL get caught up in comfort and security. But when we consider our questions before God, do we take into account the legacy that we are leaving? Are we looking out for the future–for our children’s sake?
You see, God asks each of us this question–What is it that you want, Beloved? Your answer is what you sow. Your tears are watering it. God brings the increase from it!
For my own questions lately, and I have asked some HARD ones, I have begun to see what it is the LORD requires of me. It isn’t going to be easy. The process itself has completely torn me up inside. But this very day, I have asked my question, and in faith I am sowing my answer for the future–for my children and future generations.
You see, I cannot serve both God and money or man. I cannot be wrapped up in security, comfort or even peace-keeping for the sake of peace-keeping. I am building fully, trustingly on the Rock, which is Jesus. I cannot be halfway following God and halfway following the world. I must be wholeheartedly His. With humbleness of heart, I am asking God to help me keep my eyes focused on future generations–for the line of the LORD to stay strong in my family.
So this very day, I have taken a few balloons. Inside each one, I have placed a faith-filled question, a prayer of what I want and a statement of trust. With all that I am, I am releasing them into the sky, to God, from my little bench by the brook. They are His. In His Hands, my questions, my prayers, my heart and my deepest desires are SAFE. I can let them go. I can walk on in peace.
What questions do you have for Him this day? What statements of trust can you make? What balloons do you need to fill and release? Do it!
For what you sow in prayer will most certainly bring an abundant harvest that cannot be destroyed by moths or rust.