Someone once said, “The meanest thing God could ever do would be to give you everything you want.”

As I was pondering this statement, I thought, “Well, then God must love me very, very much, because I feel like I never get what I want.” At the time, I said it bitterly, derisively, with an angry heart that didn’t yet see the truth in it.

Later that same night, while with a friend, she turned to me and said something to the extent of, “Friend, I’m so sorry. It seems you are always getting the short end of the stick.”

But then, my earlier statement came back to mind. “The meanest thing God could ever do would be to give you everything you want.” And this time, the truth rang through. He really does love me very, very much. Enough to deny me the desires of my heart.

As contradictory as that seems, every time he has denied me what I’ve so desperately wanted, good has grown out of the ashes of my lifeless dream. Sometimes, the good was in retrospectively realizing what I wanted wasn’t good, or would’ve denied me a greater good. Sometimes, it’s been the mortification of sin that seems to only come from the death of a dream. And many other times, it’s simply been the sweetness of a broken heart being forced to cast itself into the arms of the Savior, devoid of all other hopes.

And so, as I stood there in the kitchen with my dear friend, another truth came to mind.

“I guess it all comes down to whether or not one truly believes that, ‘Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!’ (Psalm 126:5 ESV)”

Those who sow in tears, whose lives are a series of one dead dream after another, are promised to someday reap with shouts of joy. I’m not quite sure how that works. And in the moments of grief, while crying out for the fulfillment of a desire that just never seems to come, it can be of little comfort. But it’s still true.

Now, I sow in tears. But then, I will reap with shouts of joy.

Praise God for the graves of all the dead dreams behind me, and the future surely filled with more. Hallelujah for desires unfulfilled, for an ever-longing heart, for the ever-present ache.

Thank God for a love that is deep enough to deny me what I want, that I might get what I need.