Jesus, I know You are here with me in this moment. Help me to feel Your presence, and to know it is You always by my side. I want to know You in new ways, to let You be my all in all. Thank You for being patient with me as I draw near to You. Amen.
I love you, LORD; you are my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.
Before I was married, I had the unrealistic expectation that the right man would meet all my needs. Not only would he manage to provide for me (and us, when we had a family) financially, but spiritually and emotionally, too. He would be able to know just what I needed, when I needed it. Maybe even before I needed it. He would complete me. He would always surprise me with little gifts and flowers "just because." I had it all planned out in my mind, and I'm sure I based my vision on all the happily married couples I saw on TV, in magazines, or read about in novels.
But here's the funny thing...I didn't know anyone in real life who had a marriage like that.
When I became a Christian, I kept some of those expectations, and years later, I carried them right into relationships with me. I had the mindset that my best friend would always be there to hold my hand and pray with me when I needed prayer, or my husband would compliment me, meet my every need, and fulfill my every desire.
Sad to say, it took me a while before I realized only Jesus could do what I expected my friends and my husband to do.
Instead of realizing my expectations were tainted, I held a grudge against these people for falling short. It took me a little while to figure this all out and get my reality in line with God's ideas.
Whether you're married or single, man or woman, in your 20's or 80's, there is not another person who can "complete you.." We are not meant to complete each other! We are made to depend on God, and He, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, is the only one who can meet our needs.
I know we don't like to be alone. We want companionship and friendship and all the perks of marriage. I promise you, relationships will not fulfill us. God will.
Our spouse will never be able to meet our needs, and it's unrealistic to think we can meet theirs, either. Also, no friendship can handle the pressure of meeting our needs. No job. No career. No hobby. No dream. At some point, we will be caught up in the enemy's lies that we are "so fulfilled," but the reality is any relationship or outside activity is capable of taking us away from the One who CAN meet our needs, satisfy our desires, and complete us. We will hit a wall and have our feet kicked out from underneath us, and then feel like an idiot for spending so much time, money, energy, and emotions on something that didn't live up to all we thought it would. (I speak from experience here.)
What can we do?
No matter our marital status, what our business card or Facebook status lists, our mindset towards Christ is so much less than what He wants it to be. He desires to be our ALL in all. He IS equipped to meet our every need. He wants to spend time with us every moment of every day. He is the only one who is able to fulfill us emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually. We have a hole shaped in our hearts that only Jesus can fill, and when we choose Him, He completes us.
It took me a while to think of Jesus as the one to fill all these roles in my life, but it's wonderful because He is the only one who doesn't let me down. He never disappoints. If my feelings are hurt by some earthly thing, I can run to Him and talk to Him. He is willing to sit with me and let me dump all my emotions on His shoulders. He wants me to come to Him with my disappointments and disillusioned dreams. His patience is unending; His love never fails.
I have found a prayer to meditate on that is especially helpful when things are not going the way I expected them to go. I pray, "Lord, change me. Change them. Or change the circumstances."
I have found, time and time again, that He will ALWAYS answer this prayer! Most of the time, the thing that changed first is ME. He will change my mindset, my desires, my needs, my circumstances. If I am willing to pray this prayer, He WILL answer it! Even if He changes "them" (whoever "them" might be), He will soften my heart or my attitude towards "them" and what really matters.
There are other ways to use this prayer that are equally effective. I have used this as an intercessory prayer on behalf of my husband and his work, and for a friend going through a rough season in life. I have prayed it over my children, their friendships, and their relationships. It's a great prayer when we don't know what the outcome needs to be, but we want to say more than, "Your will be done."
The point is to let God be God. Let Him be all He desires to be, which will then let us be all He wants us to be. As the Psalmist said, let Him be our Lord, our rock, our fortress, our shield, our Savior, and our protection, the one who saves us and is always worthy of our praise.
Father, forgive me for all the people and things I have put on the throne of my heart. Help me to keep it only for You, and to allow You to meet my needs. Remove the things from my hands and my heart that are crowding You out, and help me to remove the idols, idolatrous relationships, and expectations I have formed against You. Even kingdom things, like ministries and church, can keep me from spending time with You, so please give me discernment as I allow You to purge my heart. Father, change me. Change "them." And change the circumstances of my life, allowing me to be completely fulfilled in You.
Matthew 6:33, Ephesians 3:20, Colossians 3:11, Romans 8:35-39
Identify the things (relationships or activities) you are using to distract you from the ways God wants to fulfill you. Have friends placed pressure on you to be more than what you are capable of? What unrealistic expectations have you put upon those around you? Pray the prayer of "Change me. Change them. Or change the circumstances," and take not how God changes things.
Morning Meditations at Marina's Kitchen Table; A devotional memoir, is available on Amazon/Kindle and is free through Kindle Unlimited.
©2020 Marina J Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table, all rights reserved.