You’d think I’d learn. It seems that just as soon as I start to feel smug about a certain sin area that I almost immediately become aware of how much I’m falling into that very thing. Here’s how it went a couple of days ago:

Monday morning as part of our study on work I was reading to the kids from Bob Schultz’s excellent book, Created for Work. (See my husband’s review of this book: Though written specifically for young men, this book has much to say to young women as well, so all our students have either recently read it or are listening to me read it. Our selection that morning was on contentment, learning to thankfully enjoy what God has given rather than yearning after things we don’t have. Mr. Schultz talked about the Israelite’s quick fall into idolatry after God had brought them into the land He had promised and filled them with good things. He also discussed how Eve’s discontentment led to her taking the fruit God said not to eat.

A secret to worshipping God is to forget what you can’t have and thankfully find pleasure in what you do have. Adam could have said, “Eve, this tree isn’t for us. Come with me. Have you ever tasted blueberries like these? Sit in this grassy spot. Feel the warm sun. Rest here and smell the fragrances. Try this juicy berry. I’ll get the biggest ones I can find and feed them to you. Eve, don’t we have a wonderful God Who has given us all things richly to enjoy!”
I felt smug as I read because (at least at that moment) I was not hankering after material things. Especially in this season of excess consumerism, I find myself wanting not more, but less stuff. Don’t get me wrong. By tomorrow I could be yearning for a new stove or dishwasher to go with the new countertop my dear one just installed in the kitchen. But on that day I was satisfied with stuff.

However, later in the day the areas that I am discontent in swept over me. Even as a happy mother of nine amazing children, I long for more. I miss the days of pregnancy (yes, really!), one baby after another, toddlers, and too often I am plain dissatisfied to be moving on to this new stage of life. I’m just like the Israelites who had been brought into the Promised Land, yet were not satisfied with God’s good gifts. May I learn true satisfaction in God’s choice of good gifts for my life.

Mr. Schultz ends his chapter this way:
Thankful enjoyment of God’s good gifts is one remedy against the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Whether it’s food, clothes, your home, or your business, (Anne’s note: or the size of your family!) may you take pleasure in what you have and thereby live thankful, contented, and joyful in your Father’s presence.

Deut. 6: 10-12 10 "Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

Deut 8:10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.


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