What if I tell Jesus what I really want?

what-if-i-tell-Jesus-what-I-really-want-feature

Sometimes I pray for what’s right, instead of what’s real.

Like right now – I hope my good friend who is fighting cancer will be healed, but I don’t know whether God will do it so instead of praying for healing, I pray that God’s will be done.

And I would love to know what the timeline is for changes coming in my husband’s job, but instead of telling the Lord that, I find myself saying things like “I trust you with our future” and “I know you’ve always been faithful.”

The thing is, all of those things are true. It’s good to pray for God’s will to be done. I do trust Him with our future. He has always been faithful. But those aren’t the thoughts and feelings bouncing around my heart most days. Instead, it’s fear about what will happen to our family or a deep yearning to see my friend’s pain end.

Recently, I reread the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10. In the passage, Jesus passes a blind man named Bartimaeus as he’s walking down the road to his destination. The man calls out to Him, and Jesus stops, asking him this question: “What do you want me to do for you?”

What do you want?

If I'm brave enough to tell Jesus what I really want rather than the right thing... what then?Click To Tweet

On its face, it seems like a simple question. Yet answering it requires great courage because we risk finding out we may not get what we hope for. Even the good and godly things.

In Bartimaeus’ case, he asks to receive his sight. Jesus immediately heals him, and Bartimaeus looks at Jesus and follows Him down the road.

I can’t help but ask – what if my story isn’t like Bartimaeus’ happy ending? What if I tell Jesus what I want, what I really want, and He says “no” or “not now” or “wait”?

It’s scary to tell Him how much I long for another baby because in the simple act of saying what I want, I’m acknowledging I might not get it.

Yet relationships, real relationships, can only flourish where there’s honesty and open communication. I think that includes our relationship with God.

I know God wants me to have right theology, to pray for His will to be done, to understand He’s ultimately in control. But He also desires me to bring my whole self to Him: my questions, my challenges, my longings.

As I hear Jesus’ question to Bartimaeus, I imagine Him asking me: “Lindsey, what do you want?”

Slowly, carefully, I let my unspoken desires come to light.

I want my friend to be completely healed from cancer.

I want another baby.

I want the restoration of a broken relationship with a friend.

Saying what’s really in my heart, out loud, to the One who knows me better than I know myself is scary and liberating all at the same time. It’s a step toward deeper relationship with Him. It’s the best possible place to be vulnerable, telling the truth to a God who will never leave me or forsake me, even if His answer is no.

What if I tell Jesus what I really want? Saying what's really in my heart, out loud, to the One who knows me better than I know myself is scary and liberating all at the same time. It's a step toward deeper relationship with Him. It's the best possible place to be vulnerable, telling the truth to a God who will never leave me or forsake me, even if His answer is no.

You might also like…

  • Daring to Reengage With God
  • God has always loved the girl with the ponytail
  • Here I am. But Lord?
  • When Church is the Answer
  • When the Hypocrite in Church is You...
  • Little Churches Everywhere
Lindsey Smallwood

Lindsey Smallwood

Lindsey Smallwood is good at relationships and bad at dancing. A former pastor and teacher, these days she works, writes and raises her babies in Boulder, Colorado.
Lindsey Smallwood

Latest posts by Lindsey Smallwood (see all)

About Lindsey Smallwood

Lindsey Smallwood is good at relationships and bad at dancing. A former pastor and teacher, these days she works, writes and raises her babies in Boulder, Colorado.

  • I am currently reading “A Million Little Ways” by Emily P. Freeman, and she addresses this topic in her chapter entitled “Desire.” In it, she encourages us to acknowledge our first thoughts, scary and strange as they may be because, in doing so, we can tap into our deepest desires. She asks us to identify those experiences in which we have felt fully alive and to identify the feelings attached to those experiences. Ultimately, she ties it all to our connection with God: “When I speak of desire, it isn’t merely a desire to pursue a particular job, hobby, or vocation. I’m speaking of a desire running deeper than that. This is a longing for truth for love, for God, and to honestly relate with others from the depths of who I most fully am.” The practice of being honest with our first thoughts before God and ourselves is a difficult but valuable one; it brings us closer to Him and to who He created us to be.

    • Oh, I love Emily Freeman, but I haven’t read that one. Thanks for sharing about that chapter, sounds really powerful. Grace to you, Aimee.

229 Shares
Share217
Pin6
Pocket
Buffer
Tweet6