Do you ever find yourself in a place lacking the “WANT TO”? Struggling to find the desire to do what maybe needs to be done, should be done, or maybe must be done? Yet, there you find yourself, arms crossed, tapping your foot in full stubborn toddler mode, declaring,
“I don’t want to!”
Just a bit ago I was wrestling with my own “WANT TO” moment. I was sitting at the park and suddenly I needed to tinkle. I had few options, one being the dreaded outhouse. Once I succumbed to the necessary action, I entered into this less than desirable facility to take care of my business. I kept telling myself “Don’t breathe. Don’t look. Tinkle and get out.”
Now, sitting at my park bench, on the other side of my outhouse dilemma, I’m thinking, that wasn’t so bad. Why do I feel that way now? Really, in about 30 minutes my Starbucks Refresher will be beckoning that I return to the dreaded outhouse, and once again, I will be gearing up to find the “WANT TO”.
Finding the “WANT TO” can come in both small and large packages. It can be the child who needs extra grace, the spouse we are called to respect, the relationship calling for great humility, and the list goes on.
I recall a place of a lacking “WANT TO” that was one of those large package ones. God had gifted me with an incredibly precious 7-year-old girl as my daughter by way of adoption. The first time we met did not go as I had anticipated. You see, she surprisingly did not run into my arms at the civil affairs office in Zhengzhou, China and express her deep gratitude that she had a mother to love her forever. What did take place however was a significant wall of rejection that tore my heart in two. It was pain unlike any I had ever experienced, and it took me 3 years to recover. Over the course of those 3 years, I had to wake up every day and look for the “WANT TO”. Looking for the desire to be with this gift of sunshine. Quickly, after our arrival home she had welcomed me into her heart, yet I found myself searching for how to welcome her into mine.
This “WANT TO” obviously did not happen over night. It was a fight, giving absolutely everything to move closer to victory, making every effort, in every moment to uncross my arms and stretch them out with open hands to a God who was completely capable of giving me the “WANT TO”. I just had to take the first step of surrender.
I’m not sure how this might resonate with your heart. Maybe you’ve been in a place such as this, simply not wanting to, but knowing you have to or need to. Actually, maybe you find yourself in this place now. Look at what Peter says in 2 Peter 1:3-11 (HCSB)
3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.
Do you see that? God has already given us what we need for the “WANT TO”, but we need to make the effort. It’s there that we find the key. It’s work. It’s what Jesus did for us, giving it up in the Garden of Gethsemane, surrendering to a greater glory that brought us the gift of eternal life.
(Matthew 26:36-38) Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”
39 Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”
Then we all know what happened next…
Jesus found the “WANT TO” in the strength of Almighty God, and it carried Him to the greatest sacrifice of all time, the cross.
and YES!…Found my “WANT TO” with this most amazing gift of sunshine to my life!!