“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:24-26 (ESV)
The prophet Jeremiah, who penned our verses for today, called God his portion. What he didn't say was, "God is the One who gives me my portion." So many of us approach God for what He can do for us and what He can give us.
Imagine in all of your relationships, you merely approached friends, family, and peers for what they could give you and what they could do for you? How would they see you? How healthy would those relationships be? How do you see those who have approached you for what you could give and do for them? I'm sure those relationships didn't last long or even get off the ground.
We are often told Christianity is a relationship with Jesus, but we usually fail to approach it like such? Instead, we approach Jesus at the times when we are in trouble, or in the times we need or want something.
Jesus loves us and always desires to do for us and take care of us. He approaches us relationally, to be with us. Many times, we respond to His relational advances like He is a magic genie: We immediately present our wish lists in the hopes He will deliver. Jesus is not a genie nor our UPS delivery man for desired merchandise, but our relational Lord and Savior.
Jeremiah says, "My soul seeks HIM." Notice we are called to seek a HIM and not it (whatever that is for you). I encourage you to turn from treating Jesus like a genie and aim to spend time with Him in a new way this week, and for the rest of your life.
Remember, that He is always with you, and wants you to still be aware of that fact. Don't just pursue Him in your devotional times of reading and prayer, but throughout your day. As you engage people, ask Him to give you greater patience and understanding for them. As your friends invite you to participate in things you know are hurtful and harmful, whisper in your mind to Jesus, "Please give me the strength to follow You at this moment and not the whims of my flesh or my friends."
Say to Him, "Jesus I long to know YOU more and I help me not to worry about my circumstances, but to trust You no matter the situation." Like any good relationship, choose to base your relationship with Jesus on acceptance (of who He is), commitment (no matter the circumstances), and faithfulness (to meet all your needs and providing wholeness), and not on what He can do for you or give you alone.
Challenge: Create space for You and Jesus to be together just because that's what people in relationships do. I encourage you to sit quietly acknowledging His presence in you and with you or reading His Word or some other Bible-related book or devotional, and to talk with Him continuously (out loud and in your heart). If you do this regularly, when situations or hardship arise, you will not have to run to Him because You will already know He is with you and is taking care of you.