Here's a scene from my typical "woe-is-me" style: I was sitting on the couch with my partner to which I announced proudly & surely, "I don't think it's wrong of me to want gratification."
Moments later, I felt a pit in my stomach & could no longer concentrate on my sewing. I traveled upstairs to seek some comfort from God. I braced my prayer book to my heart and asked God what I really needed to hear.
Get a load of this!
The Lord doesn't care about instant gratification! Welp, that was the answer to the pit in my stomach friends.
This morning I pondered the notion, "God doesn't give you what you want, he gives you what you need."
I thought to myself, "If gratification from other people isn't what I need, then what's the opposite of that??"
In other words, what is it that I truly need then??
The conclusion I came to is that it isn't up to me to decide.
I might never know until I cross that line.
But that doesn't mean I need to live or be in the dark all of the time. God may not give us all of the answers directly but His intentions are pure.
Talking to God is easy. He is a universal translator. Listening to God, however, takes patience & co-laborship. It's like learning a new language. You won't always get the translation right on the first listen. God asks you to lean in again & be steadfast in your communication as He is with you. He also asks you to let go of any mistranslations.
As I leaned into God this morning, I realized I really have to put the gratification bag down but I'm weak & awkward and I do not know how to act otherwise. Do I just deny attention? Do I go hide in a cave? Do I just gloat myself up like a big tub of self-love marshmallow fluff??
Again, I do not know but God will teach me what I need. It doesn't mean I won't ever desire gratification as a means to the end & it doesn't mean I won't ever receive it but rather, gratification is something I think will make me feel better but in God's eyes, it won't...
It's sort of like when we think stuffing our face with whole cookie box will make us feel better & then it doesn't. We should of just had an apple, you know?
An issue that I've had my entire life is watching other people get gratified while I do not. To be honest, the feeling is still heavy but with God, I know that I am recognized as His child & alone, that is a special gratification that unfortunately not many people feel these days. At one point, I did not feel that gratification so it is really important for me to remind myself of that fact from time to time.
I once knew a woman who was so proud to be a child of God but not in an arrogant way. She was proud like a child who created art for the first time. She just couldn't believe how much God loved her and she wasn't afraid to praise it. She was not afraid to bring her five year old art to her parents who might ignore it & see it as meaningless. She didn't care much about convincing you of God. She just wanted you to know how proud she was to know God's love was for her.
Sometimes I think of her when I'm feeling less than important. I hear her voice, "Hallelujah! I am a child of God!" & through that innocence, I'm delivered back to the gratification of the life God granted me.