If you have ever seen “Oliver Twist” performed, you probably remember the heart-wrenching scene where Oliver holds out his gruel bowl and beseechingly says, “Please, sir, I want some more.” Wanting more is a concept that we understand very well. It is a part of our innate human psyche and an integral part of our North American society. We want more money, more time, more property, more power, more fame, more friends, more clothes, more health, more, more, more. Madison Avenue is quick to take advantage of our predisposition to more. Advertisers produce ads that assure us that their product can fulfill our deepest needs and fill our empty spaces. But all too quickly we discover the products leave us as empty as we began and we still want more.
Do you ever wonder if God gets a little tired of our ingratitude and greed? Does He get frustrated that we don’t stop to consider that we really do have all we need in Him and that if we let Him, He will help us to be content with what we do have? As familiar as we are with the concept of more, we are equally unfamiliar with the feeling of contentment. I marvel whenever I read Paul’s words from Philippians 4:11 where he says, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” I marvel because I find that to be a most difficult statement to make and a daily struggle. Every morning I do invite the Holy Spirit to empower me to accept with joy whatever God has planned for me that day so that I can be content. I can usually make it through breakfast, before I find myself wanting more of something.
While striving to be content is a daily, on-going battle, it is one worth the fight because I have found that with contentment come the gifts of grace that truly do fill up the empty spots and satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and souls. Gifts like joy, peace, hope, rest, assurance, comfort, strength, and most of all an awareness of God’s constant, loving presence. Absolutely nothing on this earth can even begin to compare to the grace God is longing to lavish on us when we learn to be content. All the other desires for “more” become pale, almost to the point of non-existence, in comparison to the glory of what God has to offer us.
While I daily work at being content, there is actually one thing that I will always want more of – one thing I can never get enough of. That one thing is more of God. I desperately want more of Him – more of His love, more awareness of His presence, more time spent with Him, more time to worship Him, more understanding of who He is and what He wants me to do and be. I want more of God!! And the fantastic thing is…..I don’t think He minds at all that I constantly keep coming and asking for more of Him. In fact, I think He delights in it because He delights in me. He sent His only Son to die for me so we could have an intimate relationship. I have discovered that the more I have of Him in my life, the more I can give Him what He desires – all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, all my strength.
Whenever I come to God asking for more of Him, I like to think that He responds to me like I would respond to my two granddaughters whom I love with all my heart. No words can explain the depth of love I have for those two girls or how much I love being in their presence. If they were to come to me and say, “Gran, we want you to love us more,” there is no way I would ever turn them down or turn them away. That request would fill me with such joy and I would pour out my love on them – no matter how many times they came asking. What gives me hope is that God loves me and you far more than I love my granddaughters. So I invite you to join me in running into our Abba’s presence and asking for more of Him. Let Him embrace you, speak words of love over you, take delight in you, quiet you with His love, and rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
There are so many ways to experience more of God. Sometimes we are speechless as we see His glory in nature. You may be overwhelmed with His presence during times of quiet and solitude. Or you may be filled with awe and wonder when He shows up in power and might by answering prayers in ways that bring great joy. I have experienced all of those, but I have discovered that the most powerful way of experiencing more of God is when I am going through a deep trial or struggle. It is precisely when I have absolutely nothing left, that I begin to discover how lavishly He loves me. In my devotions this week I was reading from “Come Away My Beloved” by Frances J. Roberts and came upon these words that so eloquently express God’s thoughts toward us, “In grief, my comfort is more poignant. In failure, my encouragement is most welcome. In loneliness, the touch of my presence more tender.” I pray that will be your experience. Just when you need more of Him, He will present Himself in a way that will fill you with pure amazement, comfort, and hope.
If, like me, you long for more of Him, I invite you to join me as we approach our loving Abba and say, “Please, Sir, I want some more.”