A Favourite Wish
I've been grappling lately with what C.S. Lewis calls "favourite wishes"—dreams or desires that are close to our hearts but must be surrendered to God before we can live abundantly in Him. I love that term because it captures the feeling exactly. A favourite wish. A dream I may hope for but am ultimately powerless to realize. A hope that is entirely in God's hands, yet constantly competing with Him for space in my mind.
Submitting a favourite wish to God is a constant, daily exercise of will. It requires diligence, perseverance, motivation and self-denial to truly place a dream in God's hands and say, "Thy will be done. I will wait for your decision in this area of my life, in whatever form that takes."
And then to do it again the next day.
And the next.
The other day I was grappling with one of my favourite wishes—fighting to put it in God's hands and truly mean it—and I decided to go to the Word. To drench myself in heavenly wisdom.
I came upon Psalm 69. More than that—I came upon myself within Psalm 69. Hidden throughout the chapter from beginning to end, I found exactly what I needed to wrestle my mind away from favourite wishes and into a place of surrender.
Psalm 69:1 — "Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul."
Acknowledge the struggle, both to God and to yourself. Recognize that this is a valid battle for you, a battle that is overwhelming you spiritually, distracting you from what you know is more important.
Psalm 69:3 — "I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God."
Waiting on God is a Scriptural principle and an inevitable part of Christian life. I love this verse because it gets to the heart of the struggle—a struggle to wait, to be patient, to stop fretting and just trust. I think this, in itself, is a crucial prayer as well. We are quick to ask for the answer to our desires, but we should be just as quick to ask for patience and the strength to thrive even when those desires are not fulfilled.
Psalm 69:5 — "O God, thou knowest my foolishness, and my sins are not hid from thee."
In the grand picture of God's unfathomable work in our lives, that one little dream or desire means so little, and we know it, don't we? It doesn't change the fact that we still have favourite wishes, but sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. To raise that little dream up to God and say, "Lord, you know my foolishness, but here it is anyway. Foolishness is all I've got right now and I need your help to be wiser."
Psalm 69:13 — "But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation."
This is the moment of surrender. The moment of THY WILL BE DONE. This is the moment when we acknowledge and accept that whatever happens will happen in God's acceptable time, not ours.
Psalm 69:30 — "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with Thanksgiving."
Now, we praise Him. For hearing our prayers. For promising to take such good care of our favourite wishes as we gently place them in His loving hands. For being better than anything we could possibly wish for in this life. And because thanksgiving is key to victory over any trial, temptation, or time of difficult desires.
Psalm 69:32 — "The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God."
Seek God and your heart shall live. Live fully, abundantly, uncontainably. Sometimes we feel like we won't truly live until our favourite wish is fulfilled—until we reach that career goal, find that perfect home, conquer that illness, finish that bucket list—but God says otherwise. Fulfillment is found in Him. We can go through life, never fulfill a single one of our little wishes, and lack absolutely nothing we need to thrive. God is the answer. He is the ultimate Wish. If we keep Him as the first desire of our hearts, He will be the north star, the compass needle, and the straight road to abundant, joyful living.