There is a blog post circulating Facebook that has pulled at our heartstrings, mine included. In the post, the lady shares how her kitchen counters need to be repainted, pointed out by a friend. She recants how she would love to redo them, even the counter tops, but life has gotten in the way, and the cabinets have fallen at the bottom of the to-do list. She begins to explain however, that maybe it isn’t the cabinets that need a makeover, but her heart instead. After I read the post it resonated in my own life that my ever growing to-do list was really just an accumulation of my own wish-list. Now that I have decided to stay home with Josie, I have adequate time to look around my own home and find areas that are ‘less than.’ I am constantly scrolling through Pinterest pinning ideas on my ‘Home’ board of perfect kitchens, tidy bathrooms, and cozy bedrooms. It isn’t long before a feeling of ‘lack’ falls over me. “If only I had those countertops, or shiplap walls, new bedroom furniture…” the list can be never-ending. I begin to compare what I have with what someone I don’t even know has.
Proverbs 14:30 tells us, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”
The writer is telling us that when we are jealous of someone or something else it will eat away at us like a disease. The comparison he makes here is so weighted, so important, he wants us to get this! When we envy someone else it does nothing but rob us of our peace and well-being. This rings so true in my life; when I begin to look around me with discontentment I am not joyful, thankful, or satisfied. Will a farmhouse sink or a new car truly wipe away my cares? Maybe it isn’t your home you are comparing, but the way you look, your family, or even your church. When you are looking at life through the lens of envy, you will always fall short. Every time.
I’m reminded of the story in John chapter 4 when Jesus meets with the woman at the well. Jesus tells her that she has had five husbands, and the man she is with now she isn’t married to. Surely that woman dealt with envy in her life before! Not ever content with what she had, she moved on time and time again searching for happiness. Jesus begins to tell her that soon after drinking the water from the well she will become thirsty again, but after drinking the water He gives, she will be satisfied. You see, true satisfaction cannot come with a price tag. It may feel good at the moment to buy something new, something that gives us temporary joy. But I can almost guarantee that just as soon as I get that new, whatever it may be, I’m already looking to get something else. Jesus tells us that we can only truly be satisfied through Him! That He will sustain us and give us our every need. Philippians 4:19 reads “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Did you hear that? Our NEEDS, not our WANTS.
I can only truly be happy when I begin to see that I am living in abundance; not because I have a house full of expensive things, but because I am drinking from the well of life. I have all that I need because I know who I am in Christ, and He is more than enough.
I read something from Lysa TerKeurst the other day (if you aren’t following her, you need to be!) that rang true. She writes,
“There will be many times in life when we feel the pains of lacking something. These can be a gift if only we look at that feeling of lack in the right way. You may have been tempted to think, “if only I had (this) right now, my life would be wonderful. But that’s not true. External comforts won’t ever produce internal joy. When we feel that tug between what we want and what we have, let’s use it as a sacrifice of praise to God. Here is a prayer we can pray; ‘God, I lift up my sadness, I lift up my desires, I lift up what I lack right now and give it to you. I praise You that You can turn my sadness into joy and my lack into fulness right now. I ask that You, God, fill that space between what I feel and what I know You can provide. The pain my lack causes me will be a personal sacrifice I can give to You. A gift from my heart to Yours. A gift that says I need You God, and that is a great place to be. In Jesus name, Amen.”
‘For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.’ Psalms 107: 9