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By: Ana Maria T.

Date: January 5, 2024

It’s a word that has been coming up in my life over the last couple of months. I first noticed it as emptiness. Emptiness mostly at not yet being with the one whom my heart desires. However, sitting with the emptiness, I began to notice something more.

I brought this up to my spiritual director, and through prayer, listening and talking, I began to notice something else. I shared with her how much I was noticing God’s presence in the many areas of my life and how blessed I was feeling. Yet, amidst God’s blessings and workings, I was feeling dissatisfied. Dissatisfied with my life, with myself and with God.

My spiritual director asked me: “What would you ask God if He asked you: “What can I do for you (in this dissatisfaction)?””

I couldn’t think…

She probed: “God’s love for you is like a banquet table that He wishes to lavish upon you. Think of it as the most lavish and extravagant table there is. If you could ask Him for anything, what would you ask Him for?”

The image of God’s lavish love for me in the form of an exquisite and lavish banquet really struck and captured me. It also really helped me see and understand God’s richness and His desire to want to give to me from there.

As I sat with that image, I began to see that my dissatisfaction had nothing to do with God’s unwillingness to satisfy me. Nor with Him wanting me to be unhappy or dissatisfied. On the contrary, He wanted to help me and to provide for me. And oh, how much.

“What do you need?”

Every day, particularly when I start to notice myself grow dissatisfied, hopeless, restless, bored or unhappy, I go to His table.

“What can I do for you? What do you need?”

Thinking about the extravagance of His table, I share with Him. And I ask Him. In the downs and also in the ups. “Lord…”

I am learning to welcome dissatisfaction as an opportunity to reflect and examine where, how, and in what I am spending my time and how I am living my life. Also, how God is acting and moving, and how and where He might be inviting me. This has been incredibly life-giving. And paradoxically, satisfying. I am learning that God doesn’t want me to stay dissatisfied, but that He wants to give to me. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for woe, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Like in the story of Bartimaeus the blind man, Jesus is not blind to my need or condition. He knew that Bartimaeus was blind and that he wanted to see. However, in His gentleness and goodness, He didn’t jump in right away and heal Bartimaeus. He first asked him: “What do you want me to do for you?" He loved and honoured Bartimaeus and his dignity by giving him the chance to think and feel his need so that he could then ask Him: “Master, let me receive my sight.”

How satisfying it must have been for Bartimaeus to then hear Jesus say: “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”

As we begin this new year, may we also let ourselves listen to the God who says: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for woe, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Who asks us: “What do you want me to do for you?”And may we too, like Bartimaeus, be not afraid to ask Him. For surely He wants to give to us.

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