God knows what we truly want.
Ironically, we don’t!
Our feelings can and do change from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year. Part of this is internal chemistry shifts, some a response to external pressure. There are many factors that go into why our desires change.
But imagine this for a moment: say you had never tasted a dark chocolate truffle. How would you even know you wanted it if you had never experienced it? But say you had tasted, I don’t know, red beans or apples or cheese. Let’s say there was a day when you couldn’t have one of your favorite foods. So you asked God for your favorite thing — your favorite thing so far — and he said no. Then he offered you chocolate.
You had never had chocolate before, remember, so you don’t know how good it can taste. Would you try it? Or would you reject it because God wasn’t giving you what you asked for, the thing you thought you wanted the most?
It sometimes takes looking back at years of walking by faith with the Lord to realize that God takes away, but he also gives. You are going in one direction, and you want to go that way, and God turns you in a new direction you think you don’t want to go. But when you arrive at the new destination (or come full circle or whatever it is), you are surprised to be happy.
I’ve noticed that God prunes things out of our lives — our lives are like trees — so we will grow in a different direction. We don’t have endless time and energy, like God does, so our growth has to be directed with a purpose. Sometimes that means cutting things out. But sometimes, God restores. He grafts back in something that was cut out — or he grafts into our lives something entirely new.
If we are living in relationship with God, we are always growing. He is always (metaphorically speaking, of course) offering us new kinds of chocolate! There is something so richly celebratory, extraordinary, and amazing about walking by faith.
The Lord gives, and he takes away, and he gives again.
God is the Great Gift-Giver.