Last November, I was blessed with an unexpected gift card to one of my favorite restaurants. I ALWAYS love an excuse to go out to eat. If I don’t have to pay to go out? Well, that’s even better.
So this was a very good surprise!
I couldn’t wait for the chance to use my new little plastic friend.
The more I thought about putting the card to use, the more enthused I got.
That gift card was becoming more than just a hunk of plastic to me. It was transforming into a symbol of all that is wonderful in the world!
First of all, it represented a night of independence. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kiddos more than words will ever express. But this card meant that for a few precious hours I could be free from the responsibilities of being “mom.”
I would be able to eat the kind of food that I wanted to eat and it would actually be hot. I would be able to enjoy dining in a quiet atmosphere without constant interruptions. And best of all, I would be exempt from cleaning up after the meal.
Along with a night of independence, this card represented a night of romance. My husband and I love each other very much, but our lives are BUSY! We don’t often have (or maybe we just don’t make) the time to go out on romantic dates as often as we should.
But for some reason, having a gift card was going to change all that. We didn’t have an excuse, not to go. There was free money and an actual destination already picked out for us. IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN THIS TIME!
Finally, that card represented financial freedom. I could order that higher priced meal, no guilt attached. If I wanted an appetizer or decadent dessert, it wasn’t going to break the budget. If only there was a way to erase all those extra calories…
Yes, that unexpected gift had become quite the prize in my eyes.
So you can imagine my dismay when in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a pre-Christmas shopping trip, I misplaced the card. It must have fallen out of my wallet on one of my many frenzied stops.
At least, that is what I concluded after tearing my house apart, searching through my car, and dumping out all of the contents of my purse multiple times. The card was gone and I was devastated.
I think it’s reasonable to assume that most people would be disappointed over a loss such as this. But I wasn’t just a little disappointed. I was disproportionately upset!
Why, you may ask?
I think it’s because I had unintentionally attached more worth to that little card than was actually there. Instead of just the monetary value that was truly present, I had also placed expectations, hopes and desires. And when that card disappeared, so did all those dreams.
It’s easy to misplace our hopes and desires, isn’t it? We can ascribe value and worth to things that are not truly worthy of it. Then we wonder why we feel empty or disproportionately upset.
The truth is that misplaced hope is false hope. And misguided desire or devotion always leaves us unsatisfied and unfulfilled.
Thankfully, there is a place where our hopes, desires and devotion will never be misdirected.
The open arms of Jesus!
Hope in Jesus is never misplaced. And when we are willing to surrender our desires and devote ourselves completely to Him, we will always find true satisfaction and fulfillment.
I love a good night out on the town with my husband, but nothing can compare to an intimate relationship with the savior of the world.
Where are you placing your hope, expectations, and desires?
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4