When I was younger, I thought that if I was going to be a real Christian, I would have to give up all the creative interests I had to follow God. I read stories about missionaries who gave up everything and I thought that I was supposed to do that too. I was heartbroken, but resolved to be obedient.
It was much later that I realized that God never asked me to give up enjoying life. He made flowers beautiful because He enjoys beauty and He expects us to enjoy beauty too. You don’t have to give up your desire to be an artist, a scientist, or own your own bakery to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. We just have to love God more than we love anyone or anything else.
When we love Him first, above all things, we receive back His love for us, and that includes the things He knows makes us happy. In fact, when we put Him first, He takes the things that we love and blesses them so we enjoy them more. We can’t lose.
I know there may be times when He does call us to lay down a sacrifice, but the blessing from obedience will be far greater than the sorrow of loss we think we’ll suffer. God blessed Job with twice as much as He had before being tested. God loves to bless extravagantly and He knows what we love.
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire and fulfill all your purpose. (Ps 20:4)