When You’re Torn Between Two Desires

Thursday night I came before God to sing praises and worship. My heart was hurting. No one could even have noticed it, it was just a silent throbbing of ache deep within, enough to make me sigh in unspoken sorrow. I was careful not to think too much about what was hurting me. I might not be able to handle it.

(image from Google)

I sang, my heart crying out for understanding. And for peace and comfort. My husband and the kids were going to the province to attend my father’s clan’s grand reunion. You know that I still can’t travel that far – a 5-hour car drive. My relatives from the states who came home for the event begged me to allow the kids to go. Hannah did, too. The last time we traveled to my hometown was when she was 1 or 2 years old. She can’t remember it. She’s now 12. The last time I saw the home I grew up in was a decade ago. My mother still lives there.

I sang, a tear sliding down the corner of an eye. Then another. It would have been wonderful to be able to go home with them, embracing those beloved folks, my aunts, who helped mold me. It would have been lovely giving the kids a tour of our little town, where I went to school, my friends’ houses. To show them a glimpse of my childhood.

But I couldn’t. And this song perfectly expressed what was going on in my heart.

Give me eyes to see more of who You are

May what I behold still my anxious heart

Take what I have known and break it all apart

For You, my God, are greater still.

Give me grace to see beyond this moment here…*

Give me grace to see beyond this moment here. My soul was silently begging God to make everything well in the places in me that hurt. Then He began to comfort me. I could feel it, so I started to sing One Thing I Desire. Tim heard it (he was with me in the room) and he sat beside me on the bed and sang with me. He sang fervently and seriously. He knows that song and loves it. I put my arm around him and we continued to sing together.

I’m fine now. I know that a victorious Christian must follow the way to triumph and not the way to despair and self-pity. The Lord makes me to stand and I will stand in His strength. Glory to Him!

Actually, I know deep within that a Christian who has given him or herself to the Lord will be fine even without the fulfilment of the dreams and pleasures he or she desires. He or she will be fine because the Lord is able to uphold him or her. The only problem is when we look at the world and gradually and unconsciously subscribe to its beliefs, norms, and practices.

Progress and development has changed the panorama of rest and recreation. Prosperity has brought families to different parts of the world to delight in amazing amusement parks and worlds of wonders. This isn’t bad at all. But there was an age when kids were happy to play without having to pay and going far. When climbing trees made them shriek in pure pleasure. When catching butterflies, dragonflies, and beetles was so much fun and it was free and it was only on the nearby hill, in the open field, or in the vacant lot! Happiness then was free and pure and near.

And who said that this has gone passé? If we can’t go to places and spend fabulous vacations abroad because of one reason or another – financial, health, duties and obligations, time constraints – it doesn’t mean our lives lack meaning or vibrancy or we are missing out so much. These things, for example, gallivanting in Universal Studios-Singapore  or frolicking in Hong Kong Disneyland – are not the norm in the kingdom of God. They are not the standard. So, if we can’t go, we’re not missing out. We’re not being deprived. The promises of God don’t specifically give us these entitlements. But He promises to give us peace, joy, love in abundance in the Holy Spirit.

We can be torn between two desires (God and the world) when we believe that, as others do, we must also. It’s alright if we have all the things we need to fulfil our dreams – health, finances, God’s approval. But if we don’t, it’s alright, too! We’re not being left behind. Are happiness and pleasure that elusive that if we can’t go we’re devoid of them? Whether we travel or not, everything is ours, for we are heirs of the kingdom!

21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader [or your friends or neighbours or the world]. For everything belongs to you—22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (1 Cor. 3:21-23 NLT, bracketed annotations mine)

Um, friends, may I invite you to my new, very simple blog where I journal the daily ordinary and maybe by doing so, I might convert it into joy right where we are. Please click the link:

Thank you! See you over there :)!

*Greatness of Our God written by Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram and Stuart Garrard.

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. Yasmin says:

    I’ve only just discovered your blog yesterday and I love your writings. I haven’t been able to dig deep into your blog yet, but I’m signed up to your posts on both this site and your other site via Bloglovin. I love your heart for God and how you worship Him in all you do.
    I’m really blessed by your writing.
    God bless and keep writing!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Yasmin, I’m so grateful to the Lord for bringing you here. Thank you for your kind words that really encouraged me and for following my blogs. I earnestly pray that you’ll continue to be blessed by doing so. You warm my heart.

  2. Pamela says:

    Such perfect timing. Last night I was crying because it looked like a trip home- 8,000 miles away- wasn’t going to happen. I sobbed my heart out, not so much because of the tickets, but because of all I am missing from home and how foreign life is here. The stresses of adjustment to a new family, a new marriage, a new country, a new culture. And my husband came in and comforted me and told me we’d be able to work out the ticket.. .and I kept sobbing, and sobbing… It was good for me to mourn, to let it all out… so that today I spent just reading the Word and seeking Him. And then I get online and this is the first blog post in the blog roll that catches my eye. :)

    • RinaPeru says:

      I so understand you, Pamela. Yes, in times when our hearts are hurting and it’s beyond our power to change our circumstance, it’s so LIBERATING to lay all our concerns at the feet of our Savior. He will do something on our behalf. He will help us in a way only He can do. I thank Him for bringing you here at a time when you needed encouragement!

  3. Hazel Moon says:

    There is so much we would like to do but we can only do so much. Our body cannot take the stress, but we can pray and be glad for those who can go. Thank you for sharing your lovely story at “Tell Me a Story.”

  4. Rina, I so hear you! I love that you are real… sharing your deep faith and trust in God while also sharing the hardships and trials we encounter in our flesh along the way. Sometimes, believers think it is always easy, this walk of faith and obedience. But that is only because they haven’t been tested to the point of dying to self. The more He pushes us to take up our cross daily, the deeper our faith becomes. But also it means that we are not so concerned about “looking” like we have deep faith, because we are LIVING out that deep faith!

    Thanks for linking up, as always, my dear sweet friend! What joy it would be to be able to sit with you and fellowship and worship the Lord one day!!

    • RinaPeru says:

      “But that is only because they haven’t been tested to the point of dying to self.” I love your beautiful words, my friend. I’m learning a lot, too, from your wisdom – glory to God!

  5. Hello Rina–the picture of you singing with your husband is a beautiful one. What more could God want of you than to seek Him like that? No wonder He came. Bless you, girl.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you, Mrs. P. Tim is my 5-year old son and he was the one who sat beside me and sang praises with me :). Yes, I had proven that the Lord is hungry for His children’s love and presence in Him, too. Blessings to you, Mrs. P.

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