Recently, my two girls were blessed with several bags of hand-me-down clothes from a friend. Everything was so cute, and it was like Christmas morning in my living room as they giggled and dug through the bags.
It wasn’t long before I started hearing, “I want that one!” And then, “No, it’s my size!” This was soon followed by the inevitable, “Mooooom!” How quickly the joy turns to anger. Most of the clothes fit my 12 year old, since they came from a 13 year old friend, and my 9 year old began to pout. Comforting reminders that these would all eventually be passed on to her did little to ease her current disappointment over a couple of particular outfits. Oh, my daughter’s heart.
How easily greed and dissatisfaction strangles our thankfulness and joy!
I know my daughter’s pain well. I know the discontent of sitting in a friend’s home and coveting their belongings. I know the envy of sitting in church watching “the perfect couple.” I am familiar with not being content with what I have, and how when we give in to those feelings, we lose sight of the truth.
The truth is, we may not have everything we want, but we can be content with having what we need.
Recently, our prayers were answered and we now have a better place to live than what we’ve had for many years. We still don’t have “everything,” but I keep looking at everything we DO have and I’m unable to dwell on anything that is “missing.” We have all we need, and I am happy for that.
Going into this new year in this new (to us) home, I refuse to fertilize those seeds of discontent. When those weeds try to sprout in my heart, I pull them quickly! I refuse to let them strangle my thankfulness and joy for God’s provision. Likewise, I know that being mindful of my blessings and being thankful will prevent those weeds from being able to take root and grow.
Seeds of discontent cannot grow in a joyful heart.
I want to take care of this new home, cherish it, continue to thank God for it, be a good steward of it. The truth is that I should feel that way about wherever God leads us to live. I know that now. It took me many years to learn it. (Philippians 4)
What weedy seeds are choking the joy out of your heart today? Pull them up, let them go. After all, a thankful heart is a happy heart!