The Source In Every Season
The love in my life is divinely sourced
When I reflect on my life, I see love. Beautiful friendships, enriching experiences and memories. In every chapter of this story, God has provided exactly what I needed to sustain and to see His hand. As an avid journaler, I enjoy going back through the years to remember specific moments and instances. It honestly amazes me. God’s faithfulness is demonstrated time & again. He has given me so many good gifts—and He’s also taken some away. For a long time, I had trouble reconciling that. Why would He give me something good only to rescind it? I don’t have an ultimate answer, but I have learned a lot about the Lord’s character through it all. He has been my true constant, and the further I progress, the more I appreciate His steady presence by my side.
For me, it’s easy to get attached to the specific gifts God bestows, and tie them to my well-being and satisfaction. As that attachment deepens, it becomes difficult to acknowledge God as the ultimate source. I found myself easily slipping into idolizing the gifts He gave. This inevitably led to disappointment and disillusionment, when the gift itself couldn’t sustain me in the ways I expected or demanded. I had to make an important mental shift, and recognize that the gift is an outflow from the source. When I conflated the two, I found myself seeking endlessly. Internalizing this truth required that some things I held dear be stripped away, which was painful at times. In retrospect, I’m grateful to have gone through the process. I feel that it’s equipped me to move through the coming seasons of life not seeking fulfillment in the wrong places. I had to learn to loosen my grip, as sometimes a gift is only meant to be in my hands for a season. To appreciate what He gives, but not be unwilling to relinquish it if the time comes. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).
I am learning to live in constant gratitude for the present moment, the ways He is sustaining me now. I think of the Israelites wandering through the wilderness, and God’s faithfulness throughout that journey. When He provided manna, He only allowed them to take what they needed for that day. He wanted to feed them in a practical sense, yes, but He also wanted to prompt them into continual dependence on Him. Our human tendency is to gather as much as we can, calculate how many days we can make it last, ration it out, come up with innovative ways to preserve it. This is essentially driven by fear, a scarcity mindset. My dad shared a sermon about how oftentimes God wants to strip all of that away, and asks us to simply appreciate the sustenance He has provided today. He wants us to keep looking up, ready to receive His provision. God is saying, keep your eyes on Me…seek first the kingdom. Surrender your worries, calculations, and manipulations. Remain in a posture of gratitude, and you will be a perpetual recipient of His grace.
Realizing that God is the source enables me to lead a life of abundance. Instead of feeling like I have to scrape the bottom or hold tight to what I have out of fear, I have confidence that there’s more where that came from. I’m not relying on any one person, or even on my own capacity. I trust that God can provide infinitely, and that when I open my heart to Him, He will pour out graciously. When plugged into the source, I am fueled and strengthened, such that I can give freely without fear of running out. In general, living generously requires that we remain connected to the source, and confident that the supply will not run dry. I want to live out my life positioned adjacent to an everlasting source. Just like in Jeremiah 17, regardless of the season, the roots receive the water they need to continue flourishing, and also providing life for those nearby. I’m realizing that this mindset is especially critical in any relationship. Not expecting another person to fill me, but approaching it with the intention and the ability to give and serve. God will liberally supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19).
Sum total versus source
I observed that sometimes I basically equate God’s goodness to my parents + friends + mentors + music I love + good memories + delicious food…and so on :) I had to shift from conceptualizing God as the sum total of the good things in my life, and instead see Him as the source. I like that distinction because it helped me make an important paradigm shift. All these beautiful people and experiences He’s written into my story are vessels of love. But in actuality He far transcends that calculation. He’s literally the source, pouring His love through each of those channels. And He’s also so much more than what I can perceive as ‘good’ in my mind—my summation only limits Him. God can’t be confined to a human body, or the words on the pages of the Bible, or the sum total of our good experiences. But they do all point to Him; they indicate His essence, and so we embrace and appreciate them. The good we see and feel in them is divinely sourced. They provide us the privilege of more intimately encountering Love on this side of eternity. For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen (Rom 11:36).