God is the Greatest Gift

July 2, 2018

But I prayed about it for ages”

“I asked God, I fasted… why did he not give me what I asked for?

“I feel like God didn’t hear me”

Why am I going through this again?

Does God even care? Even listen?

“Are you even there God?

Do these questions sound familiar? I know I’ve asked them so many times. In varying circumstances, and at different times, but they have come up time and time again.

It came up when I prayed to God to end the drought and save my job after I almost decided to close the doors of what I was doing for almost 10 years .

It came up when I asked God to help me be a better wife and to fix a marriage that was broken at the time.

It came up when I asked God to help me find a ‘better’ church.

It came up when I asked God to end the turmoil of raising my daughter and make motherhood be easier, better.

It even came up when I asked God to please take away the dryness I felt for years in my walk with Christ.

But all I got were, shut doors. Road detours. Suffering. And what felt like big fat ‘NOs’ at the time. I felt stuck. All were hard lessons that addressed (and are still addressing) areas within me that I need to work on. Like my pride. Stubbornness. Lack of grace. Lack of gratefulness. Lack of humility.

I didn’t know it at the time, but while I was praying and asking for ‘crumbs on the floor’, God through all the nos, was working to answer my prayers by giving me an even greater gift.

A seat next to him at the banquet table. Not on crumbs, but on a feast. He was giving me more of Himself.

Through every no, and every pain, every piece and layer that was taken away from my life, God was masterfully tearing down areas that took my focus away from Him. He was ironing out places to expose the flaws, faults and sin that kept me from growing. He was taking away things that I had held on too tightly to, or had anchored my hope and my identity in too much.

In those seasons, I was forced to come to the end of myself. Meaning, I had tried everything and anything I knew in my power and knowledge to fix my own circumstance to turn the outcome the way I wanted it to turn out. Instead I was left empty handed when it failed despite all my own ‘wisdom’. Like a small child who tries rebelliously to tie their own shoe laces and refusing help from my parents, and then failing, I was forced to reach my hands out and cry for help. What happened after that, was God’s grace and mercy in itself. What I found was better than the answers I had hoped to find. I found more of God.

Its crazy sounding right? My younger 20 something year old self who was so focused on conquering the world and making a place for myself with my own life, would read this and think I had gone completely mad. Why would a no to your dreams and wishes be a good thing?? Surely God is cheating me of the good stuff right?

Back then, I knew in my head that God was the best thing in this life and the next, but my heart had forgotten what that looked like. God knew better though. Through years and seasons of struggle and unwanted circumstances, each one of them have pushed me to reach into the bible and plunge into His word to find the ‘something more’ lasting. The ‘something more’ satisfying. To find solace. To find hope. To find Peace. To ultimately find Him. The setbacks and the no’s and all those shut doors and wanderings down different paths, led me to taste that God Himself is far better than the gifts He gives. That this delight in Him he offers not only satisfies, but it grows with age and passing time. He wanted me to see that despite not having the blessings, I could taste and feast on a joy that surpassed everything here on earth. A joy that was not shaken by changing circumstances or things completely falling apart. A joy that was not dependent on who I was, but on Christ who died for a sinner like myself. A joy found in Him only.  And when I began to grasp that, I realised that Jesus truly was and is the ultimate gift. That knowing Him was and is better than anything this life could offer.

I only pray and hope others can understand this incredible joy for themselves. Looking around though, I have been troubled lately, by a culture that seeks to ONLY look for or only FOCUS on the blessings (Hopes. Wishes. Desires. Dreams that we hope God will answer. Whether its a life partner. THAT job opportunity. Healing from a physical sickness. More money.) on this side of heaven … which I’ll clarify now: the gifts are not wrong. The desires for them are not wrong. But when they become your only hope? When they surpass and overtake the importance of the giver of the gifts himself? I think thats when I get really sad. Not because I want to look down on others, but because I know there is SO MUCH BETTER that I pray they can taste for themselves. I’ve seen advocation of a life that promises physical healing, material abundance, and a ‘great life’ – only to have followers disappointed when they don’t get the amazing career they prayed for. Or become heartbroken when the boy/girl relationship they have so earnestly desired and sought after, rejected them. When they continue to live in sickness with no signs of getting better. When their children continue to rebel or walk away. Or to have other people still, become so fixated by the chasing after of these things, that they are completely consumed by the pursuit of them. Their eyes have been fixed on the crumbs on the floor, when God Himself has offered a seat next to Him to feast at the table.

So what are we to make of all of those people whom have experienced no’s? Including you and I? I’ve known people who have died of terminal disease. Lost their children in their own arms. Women who have seen their homes torn apart by war and their families killed or scattered. Husbands abandoned by their wives. Houses wiped out by natural disasters. Are these people less Christian? Less faithful? Have they missed out on God’s promises?


Because God never promised us wealth or riches or an abundant earthly life. He promised us an abundant life, Yes. But that never meant earthly pleasures or pursuits. Yes God can heal, yes God can give you a wonderful marriage. Yes God can give you a great career. Yes God can give you beautiful children that are obedient and grow up well. But I think people keep believing they will be shortchanged in their happiness if they are denied these things. However, like a parent who doesn’t give their child everything she asks for, so too it is God’s grace that He sometimes doesn’t give us what we ask for because He only wants to give us THE BEST. Which is….His promise of eternal life with Him. A life of freedom from the bondage of our sins and its disappointing lies, through His incredible sacrifice of himself on the cross for us who were the real ones that deserved that ending at calvary instead of Him. Yet He willingly bore that cross and took our place. And the life offered in exchange is offered to us for free. We only need to hold out our hand and say yes to the invitation that God has given to us to sit next to him at the table.

Jesus said, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

So, Jesus said: I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:35-40)

The true abundant life is not about ourselves and getting everything we want. It is about God giving us exactly what we need: more of Himself.

More of God. Less of Me.

A true irony I have only just BEGUN to grasp. But one that is incredibly rich in so many ways that my words fall completely short to describe this unsurpassable and incomparable gift. I can only hope some of you take up that invitation to know Him more, whether you have been a christian for years, a short while, or don’t know Him yet at all. Take that invitation to sit at the table with Him. Taste the breathtaking soul-satisfying treasure I am talking about for yourself. We may never get all of the things we ask for or pray for here in this life, but we can trust that we have a God that meets us in every trial and no, and walks with us every step of the way, faithfully offering us more of Himself each and every time. And He promises that, He Himself satisfies far better, far greater, and far deeper than anything we can ever know in this life. In a life that is messy, heartbreaking, disappointing, and painful alot of the times, this is a great GREAT comfort and joy to hold on to. A joy that is unshakeable. It is unwavering. It survives and endures on despite our circumstances. And it is a treasure that lasts on through to eternity. Don’t settle for the crumbs on the floor and be satisfied when God is offering you a banquet! Sit at the table with Him who gives the FEAST of life with Him, Himself.




Update: BONUS MATERIAL! We’ve added some wallpaper downloads here in case you wanted to keep this on your phone or your desktops! Just click on the photo you want, and it’ll take you to the full size image. Then just press ‘save as/save image’.

Desktop Download {VERSION 1}:


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Phone Screen Download {VERSION 1}:


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