Toward the end of chapter 7, Elisabeth asks a question and then makes a statement that I couldn't have said better myself. It explains my position right now.
"How can God work His will in me if I am clogged with wishes of my own?"
"I was wishing that my wishes were what God wished; I wished that I could wish that my wishes would go away, but the wishes were still there."
Oh, how true! I have two desires in my heart right now - my two greatest passions in life. And at the moment, God is putting them on hold. Maybe forever. You never know. But I ache. I desire them so much that I don't know what to do with myself!!!
But! In saying that, I am reminded of another important lesson from chapter 6. Ugh. Important but difficult!!! .... Elisabeth described a conversation with a girl who used to live with her, and this girl wanted to marry a rich and handsome man. When she came home from a date one evening, she started telling Elisabeth how the guy she went out with was nice, a Christian, interesting ... but then she mentioned that he wasn't wealthy. Elisabeth then asked her questions like "What if God were to choose for you to marry a poor and homely man?"
The questions and responses continued for awhile until the girl finally asked, "Doesn't God want me to be happy?" ... Wow. Isn't that just like us? It all comes back to our own happiness. If we aren't happy, then life just isn't worth living. When, in reality, we should be finding joy in our trials, in our heartaches, in our unmet desires .... because these "unhappies" force us to depend on Christ and find complete fulfillment and happiness (or rather JOY - which is NOT temporal but lasting!) in HIM ALONE. .... This girl was focusing on her own happiness, which is what we all tend to do.
But I love Elisabeth's response! ..... She said, "God wants you most to be holy." ..... Wow! I remember being taken aback when I read this line. It was one of those moments when the words jump off the page and smack you in the head! .... I started reading Passion and Purity because I was down about my desires concerning my love life. I was reading it to pursue Christ's perspective in the situation, yes .... but also because I was bummed out. Isn't it great how God will reveal His perspective when we really seek it out? It's great alright ... but also convicting!!!! ..... I think He wants us to be happy ... BUT! .... He isn't ultimately worried about our happiness. He's worried about our holiness!!! A similar way to put it .... My pastor often says, "God's not concerned with our comfort; He's concerned with our character." .... Holiness is being "set apart." Jesus is the ultimate picture of holiness - completely set apart from any ideology, any response to any situation, any person on this earth. And He calls us to be set apart as well. .... Elisabeth threw out the definition of holiness to mean "wholeness." Another great way of putting it! ..... When we are holy ... set apart ... we are W H O L E. I want to be whole! ..... It reminds me of James 1:4 when it says .... "And perseverance must finish its work so that you will be mature and complete, not lacking anything." That is EXACTLY God's desire for us! He wants us to be whole! Complete. Not lacking anything. Holiness is the path to wholeness.
So in all of my "unmet" desires ... I need to be seeking out holiness. Then ... I will eventually be whole. Whew! ... What a rough concept. I hate that it is taking me so long to learn this lesson in surrender. You'd think I would've learn it by now. But no. ..... Thankfully our God is entirely faithful and full of grace to extend to us each and every day.
Alrighty .... So I really wrote this only for myself. I needed to get some thoughts. .... I pray you all have this surrendering desires thing down pat. But ... knowing you (the fact that you're human), you don't. So I thought I'd share my struggles and thoughts. .... Like I've said so many times before ... it is soooo much easier said than done. But we can't stop striving toward the goal. The goal being - WHOLENESS IN CHRIST ALONE.