We’d no sooner lugged all our stuff into the hotel room and the boys were plugged into their devices. Hubs made some coffee, but I . . . I yearned to grab my camera and snap some pictures of the amazing mountain views across the highway.
I walked up the road, my eyes riveted by the snow-covered peaks. I kept searching for the perfect angle, but always there were wires or buildings or cars making the scene less than what I wanted to convey.
I kneeled, trying to avoid the wires, but still, there were less-than-perfect elements. I wanted more. I was almost resigned to settling for what I could get and preparing to crop the distracting elements from the shots.
Isn’t that how we approach things we want sometimes? Whether it’s the pursuit of a dream, improving some aspect of our character, or trying to attain something our heart desires? We look for the best right where we are, hoping we’re going to find that perfect . . . something.
And always, it’s less than the whole picture we envisioned.
It feels easier to settle for “good enough” for a number of reasons.
Maybe we’re afraid that’s the best God has for us. At times I’ve believed God’s best was what I saw right before me. Infertility. I yearned for a baby, but God hadn’t given it. Was He telling me that wasn’t His plan and that what I had was it?
It’s challenging to know when we should be content with what we have and when God has more for us. He wants us to seek Him. God wants to conform us into the image of His Son. This often requires a painful dying to self so we can better reflect Him.
God only gives us what’s best for us. And if He hasn’t given it, then it wasn’t what was best. Again, this can be hard to grapple with when heart desires go unfulfilled.
Sometimes we may yearn for something that truly isn’t God’s best for us. Has He ever tried to open our eyes to see life differently, to see His best for us? For our family, that included adoption. It was a different version of the heart desire for children fulfilled.
Sometimes, we must choose to trust God in the middle of the not having. And we look for the beauty—the contentment—in the place where we are.
Maybe we’ve attempted before and we’re gun-shy about trying again. I’ve worked toward publication for almost ten years. I’ve entered writing contests, I’ve submitted my work to an agent, to editors, and they’ve said, “Thanks . . . but, no.”
It’s scary to put ourselves out there again, exposing ourselves to the possibility of another rejection.
We need to seek God, to ask Him if we should try again. We should check our motives and make sure they’re right before God. If He says, “Try again,” we need to step out, trusting that He’s got us, regardless of the result.
Maybe hoping for more feels too hard, too risky, too painful. When fear dictates our decisions, we’ll stay stuck. Rejection, pain, risks that didn’t pay off can be hard to move beyond. We come to a place in the path where we must choose. Are we going to step forward, or are we going to stay put?
Staying put never satisfies. Though our hearts may feel safe for a little while, we’ll eventually wonder, “What would have happened if I’d stepped into the unknown?” Regret can be more painful to live with than knowing we tried and failed and tried again.
And maybe, if we keep walking a little further, pressing into the Lord a little longer, He’ll bring those heart yearnings into reality.
As I continued walking along the highway, I found a crosswalk and on the other side what looked like a dirt path leading between a hotel and a car dealership. Once I passed the buildings, the view opened up. The sun glimmered on the snowy peaks. Farmland and trees lay beyond the small bridge over a rolling creek.
And I found the unfettered views I’d yearned for. I snapped a lot of pictures, found a small rock-strewn path near the creek to stroll along, and my heart breathed deep.
When there’s a yearning in our souls, we need to not settle for “good enough.” Instead, let’s keep pressing into the Lord, keep moving forward with Him, and give Him the space to do the work He yearns to do in us.
What about you? When have you allowed fear to have the upper hand in your decisions? When have you seen God do more than you expected in your life?
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