Needy or Needful?

Hope Discovery for the Day:

It is in the desperate spaces and places of our lives that we discover this life cannot meet our deepest need.

Scripture of the Day:

Psalm 69: 3, 32

“I am exhausted from shouting for help; my throat is sore; my eyes grow tired of looking for my God. 32 The oppressed look on–let them rejoice! You who seek God, may you be encouraged!”

We all have needs. Yes, even the ones reading this today who think they don’t. You do. But we don’t often want to admit it. It is not an esteemed quality to be a needy person. No, an independent spirit is praised in our society. And while I see the importance of being able to stand on our own two feet, there is something intrinsically beautiful about recognizing our needfulness. Notice, I said need”ful”ness, not need”i”ness.

Neediness is focused on self, characterized by the perpetual expectation of someone else to fill our needs, sometimes with an entitlement expectation or attitude. Needfulness recognizes and expresses needs that are necessary, but looks within and sees the need is deeper than what lies on the surface. Needful people resolve their needfulness through relationship.

When I was first saved, my mentor at the time asked me, “Denise, do you see your need of Him?” “Sure” was my response. Nope. I did not see how very needful I was of God in that moment. I may have thought I did. I accepted His amazing salvation and went to church. I shared His love with others. But I would not truly see my desperate need of God until I went through the most tragic event of my life.

It is in the desperate spaces and places of our lives that we discover this life cannot meet our deepest need. Church cannot meet it. Religion certainly cannot meet it. People cannot. Organizations formed for the purpose of meeting needs cannot. This chasm of need within us cannot be satisfied with anything or anyone else than God alone.

This world tries to fill the empty chasm that cries out for more. It tries to conceal our need, too. It’s embarrassing to admit we are not enough or that we need something we cannot provide. We don’t want to cry out. We don’t want to have to need. But when life hurts, suddenly our attention is turned inward to the pain that cries out for relief.

The Psalmist so beautifully paints a picture of what it means to truly express our need before our great God. He was shouting, crying out until his throat hurt. Weeping and praising. He was not politely stating his need. Our culture is so polished, so refined – crying out to God in this manner would be looked down upon. But not by God.

The Psalmist praised God right smack dab in the middle of His suffering. He did not blame God or think that he deserved more. He stated His need clearly, then he looked to God.

The truly humble find their God and fill their needfulness up completely with Jesus. They want for nothing, because their want is filled by God alone. They don’t look for neatly wrapped solutions provided by the hand of man. They know where their help comes from.

Recognizing our need of God is not just a mental ascent. It is a heart cry that is desperate for understanding and interaction with the One Who loves and saves our soul. Suddenly, when we cry out for God to change our circumstances, He changes our heart, instead. Our deepest need was met. Perspective reaches a new height and we praise Him no matter what chaos surrounds us.

Why would a God who could supply our every need want us to feel our need? Relationship. If we had everything we wanted – provision, success, love – we would not come to Him to meet our needfulness.

Testimony by testimony, God meets us in our place of needfulness. Here is a testimony I shared on this blog a couple years ago in which God turned my needfulness into a holy place right in the middle of a hospital. Instead of focusing on my need and pain, God turned my focus to the ministry of the needs around me. What an awesome God! He can do the same for you.

We all have needs. God knows that. The pride of man wants to acknowledge his own achievements, think that he accomplished his success on his own. But the reality is that everything has indeed been given to us and none of it could have been done apart from God’s grace and enablement. And when we hurt because our need is so very painful – God is able to take that place of agony and turn it into a gift where our need and our hearts are changed forever. Praise His Holy Name!

 

 

 

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