“Their prosperity causes them to do wrong; their thoughts are sinful.”
“But as for me, God’s presence is all I need. I have made the sovereign LORD my shelter, as I declare all the things you have done.”
Expenses in life can be so very challenging sometimes. I confess there are moments when I wonder if it would be possible for some of those pesky challenges to just stop. Drifting down this line of thinking I ponder what it would be like to have no financial troubles. It reminds me of the main character, Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof”, when he said, “IF MONEY IS A CURSE THEN SMITE ME WITH IT”.
Our vehicles are all over 200,000 miles and have each exhibited signs of that wear that keep our local auto center in business. We want to refrain from going to the doctor because insurance does not really pay anything, anyway. Each month I hope the cost of the prescription for a skin condition has somehow decreased, but alas, itch I must. Opportunities that I wanted for my kids that we cannot afford. Food costs drive you to always choose from the value menu if you go out at all. Vacations? Usually combined with larger family gatherings because affording a vacation place would mean fasting for the trip. Exaggeration for effect here, but you get my point.
I am not looking for sympathy, really I am not. Because even though in one moment I could wish it was a little easier, in the next breath, I am so very thankful that I have not had everything I have wanted. Sure troubles can be frustrating, but there is a deep contentment within that fills me with peace when I am tempted to wonder why things are not easier. I trust my God and He is sovereign and perfect in His provision.
Where it hurts the most is when I would want to do more for my children or other people but cannot. In this, too, I can rest in God’s wisdom and plan. He is their Provider, and mine, too. He is the One Who meets our every need. If He does not use me to provide for someone else’s need, He has someone else appointed. What I have felt as lack perhaps is not lack at all and can also cause me to get creative and contemplate what I can do with what God has given.
So, without sounding hyper-spiritual, where is the blessing in not having all that I want? Not having enough of what I thought I needed causes me to ask my Heavenly Father for help. The hunger for more is replaced with a longing for God and I am always satisfied in His presence far more than the temporary satisfaction of comfort or materialistic goods.
This flies in the face of prosperity theology, which would proclaim that we always have an abundance. Defining that abundance, though, is difficult to do. When is enough, enough? Perhaps what we have is an abundance, already. Let that sink in. A home, vehicles, clothing, food, electricity, a garden – sounds more blessed than I deserve.
That is what happens when I enter into His presence. My perspective is changed and what I perceived as plain and not sufficient becomes more than I could ever thank God enough for. Perhaps having less than all I want is more beautiful, after all.
Lord, help us to be content when others around us appear to be without troubles and humble enough to help those around us who look at us in the same way.