Do your thoughts ever take you by surprise?
Mine sure do. And not always in a good way.
I was enjoying some quiet time on our front porch recently. My husband and four oldest were at Vacation Bible School, and the two youngest were tucked into bed. I was savoring the last few minutes of daylight, enjoying the soft sounds of birds chirping and a train’s horn sounding in the distance. Lightning bugs were dotting the landscape of our yard, flashing glimmers of yellow-green against the sunset backdrop behind the mountains. A more idyllic evening I cannot imagine.
“Ah, perfection,” I sighed. But then my thoughts continued:
“Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a swing out here?”
Just like that, my blissful bubble burst as I became aware of my sin.
A home with a front porch has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. God granted that desire and many others eighteen months ago in the form of our home. A home which has been used by God in amazing ways for ministry and love and service and learning and growing.
But instead of being content with God’s super-abundant provision, my mind was concocting a new wish list.
How true the proverb: “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (27:20).
Here’s what I have to remind myself regularly: [Tweet “Material things will never bring lasting fulfillment.”] There will always be something newer…something bigger…something better…or just something different.
It’s important to use this truth to keep our thoughts in check…and to encourage our children to do the same.
Like when my son debates about which video game accessory will be his next choice…as he examines the products displayed on the back of a box containing a brand new item he has just received.
Or when my children marvel about the ginormous homes in a neighborhood we drive through frequently.
Or when my eye begins to wander toward a newer model cell phone, laptop, or e-reader.
Or even when I want something as simple as a porch swing.
You see, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things. But it’s important to realize that if I had those things, I would be wanting other things. And recalling this truth can help curb my desire for things. It helps me to recognize the sin and the trap of discontentment.
Because here’s the truth: no thing will bring lasting fulfillment.
[Tweet “We will only ever find true satisfaction and fulfillment in Christ.”]
That’s why Paul could say he had learned to be content in any circumstance (Philippians 4:11-13). Because no matter the circumstance, he still had Jesus. And that was enough.
If we drink from His living water, we’ll never thirst again (John 4:14).
And when I fix my gaze on Him…
remembering Who He is…
and recalling the abundance of grace He has lavished on me, undeserving as I am…
those other things that allure my sight have a way of just…fading away.