I didn’t know buying a foot long hoagie and 3 cookies from Subway could be so life altering.
You know that moment when you’re trying to stuff your face with steak and cheese while driving, but the lettuce and tomatoes are falling out at the same time as 3 cars are mad at you for going the wrong way… and it’s so hard to make that choice, do I go to grab the pieces falling out of my sandwich, or do I put the dang thing down and try to make these people happy?!
Needless to say, I dropped the sandwich so I could have both hands on the wheel, and I successfully made it back on the road without killing anyone. Already, my day was looking positive.
My main problem was that I wanted to eat the sandwich RIGHT THEN, but I wasn’t willing to lose any of my precious lettuce, tomato, steak, or cheese, which was bound to happen if I ate while driving.
“Hey, why can’t I use self-control and just WAIT and eat it when I get to the parking lot?”
I tried. I tried thinking of something other than that delicious hoagie in front of me or those 3 chocolate chip cookies that would be so easy to eat in the car without losing any of the pieces.
My self-control made it to the red light. And then I dug in again. But I knew it was a little bit of “out of control, instant gratifying, why can’t you just have 5 minutes of patience” behavior, so I ended up praying while trying not to take a bite. Mainly so I could say I managed to have a sandwich in my hands for 5 minutes, and I didn’t devour it in the first minute and thirty.
I did not expect to hear from God, or actually get an answer, but mid complain-prayer, a thought popped in my mind that I know was from God.
That sandwich doesn’t want you.
Wow. It might sound silly, but that phrase was and still is, earth altering for me. Because honestly, I loved that sandwich. I NEEDED it so desperately. I WANTED it. So desperately.
I want other things. So desperately. I satisfy my sinful nature so frequently because I WANT things that often don’t want me the same way.
The phrase hasn’t left me. I’ve been able to apply it to a lot of other areas of my life. And I’ve begun thinking, why would I waste my precious time, money, and energy on things that don’t want me, and don’t lead me any closer to the goals I ultimately want?
I didn’t eat the sandwich until I got to where I needed to go. And I ate it slowly. I saved half for dinner. Because all of the sudden, my desperate need and desire to eat that big sandwich and all those cookies disappeared when I realized they didn’t love me back.
My struggle with food has been a long one, but honestly I thought I was over it until that moment yesterday when I realized I am still struggling with some addictions. Not the same addictions I used to struggle with, but addictions none the less. Struggles with the need and desperate desire for instant gratification.
I didn’t go to the bar to dance last night. Not because I don’t want to have fun. But because those things don’t own me anymore. In the moment of hearing the words, “they don’t want you,” I realized something. I DON’T WANT THEM SO DESPERATELY EITHER.
And here’s the thing that has me so crazy and excited and feeling like, “Wow, my life is gonna change.”
I am wanted. Desperately. Loved. Completely. By a God who gave his own LIFE for mine.
I want you. I love you. I want you.
So why don’t I start desperately craving and following after the One who DOES want me?
1 John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” …He WANTS us. As His own children. He loves us. More than food could love, more than a night at the bar could love, more than anything I can think of. None of that stuff loves me. My Father in heaven does though.
Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
If I fail men, if I fail people on earth, if I sin against man, I am easily thrown away and replaced. There will always be someone out there who looks better, is more fun, is quieter, does things nicer, or more independently, or in every and any way better than you.
But Paul wrote that God, in his GREAT LOVE FOR US, in His MERCY, still wanted me. Still wanted to make me ALIVE WITH CHRIST, even when I was in the midst of my sin.
It truly is the GRACE of God that I have been saved. This one fact, this TRUTH that I am WANTED, LOVED, has already shifted my mindset. I am amazed.
I encourage anyone reading this to take this Truth for themselves. You are wanted. The (sandwich, attention, drugs, alcohol, porn, brownies, pride) doesn’t want you. Those things don’t love you back. Go towards the One who Does, the One who wants you and loves you most. We’re on this journey together.