Packing up to go for trips, I am always reminded of how much stuff we have. Mostly with Audrey, I think of all these situations and certain things she might need. It is good to be prepared, but I can’t help think, “what do people other children do without five different types of shoes for different weather…just in case?”
It made me again think about our human disease of materialism and things we want verses what we really need.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12
Learning that secret to being content in every situation takes practice especially in a culture where we are constantly competing with one another and trying to have the next best thing.
I too suffered from this disease, but by giving my life, needs and wants to God – He has blessed me ten million times more than any things could and provided me with a perspective and complete comfort in life.
I still struggle -I am human. I find myself aiming for bigger and better like, “If I only had a bigger home…” or “If I only had internet on my phone…” There are plenty of examples.
There is this bar we set really high and if we just get there, we’ll be happy. If you haven’t learned yet, you will never reach that bar. We continue to set it higher and higher, thus proving, material items WILL NOT MAKE US HAPPY. It is a short-lived spurt of happiness until it turns into getting the next thing.
I am constantly pressed to stop, pray and thank God for all His blessings. For nothing WE HAVE, did WE EARN – God gave it to us. It was His in the first place. By thanking Him and feeling his presence in our lives, that roller-coaster of happiness will turn into a solid rock of joy in your heart. It will not move.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
That isn’t to say that God will make you happy all the time, it is saying that only God can provide true joy and even bring you joy in tough times.
“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” John 16:20
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
It isn’t wrong to like and want nice things, but we may first learn that feeling of being content with what we do have. Be thankful today – in whatever situation you are in, without thinking about all the things you don’t have. Think about what you do have and be thankful.