Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Deepest Needs

Recently, I was reading about Jacob and his wives Leah and Rachel (Gen. 29:30-30:24). The dynamic of that triad relationship (really a quintet counting Bilhah and Zilpah) was confusing, difficult, and often quarrelsome. While in the middle of a baby war that the two women thought would prove Jacob’s love, Rachel cries out to Jacob saying “Give me children, or else I die!” (Gen. 30:1). I was struck at how often times we look to other people to fulfill our deepest needs when we should be looking to God. We see Rachel’s deepest need (or so she believed) was to have a child. In anguish, she cries out to Jacob to fill this need or she feels she will die. Though Jacob’s response in anger wasn’t the most loving, it was appropriate. Was he God? No. Was he the one that had withheld children from her? No. Could he do anything more than he was already doing to help her bear a child? No. He had no control over her circumstances and yet she blamed him and begged him for an answer that he didn’t have.

So often we look to others in expectation, when we should be looking to God in hope. God has promised He will provide for our every need (Luke 12:22-32), so our faith should be seeking Him to fulfill that promise. When we look to people to fulfill these needs we put heavy demands on them without realizing what it does to that person and to the relationship. We add such an incredible amount of stress and probably don’t realize how frustrating it can be for the other person to watch us wrestle with dissatisfaction.

I know I battle with this. I look to people with the same anticipation that I look to God and usually find myself disappointed. Like the psalmist, the only solution available is for us to “lift our eyes to the hills, from whence comes our help (Ps. 121:1). God is the only one who can lift us up out of the miry clay, set our feet upon the rock of His salvation, and establish our steps (Ps. 40:2). But, the one thing we can rely on other people for, is company for the journey. We can take this trip with those around us who are like minded, those who have the same spirit, the same goals, and the same love of God in their hearts.

We can rely on our brothers and sisters to walk through this life with us, but we should rely on God to walk us through this life.

Lord, thank you that your promises never fail, Your mercies are new every morning, You never leave us, and You have the best in mind for us. Please help me to enjoy this journey with my fellow sojourners and to look to You in the midst of storms.