It’s that time of year when we begin thinking about all the things we need to make us happy. A new car. A new job. A new life. Maybe even a new spouse. Sad to admit, but my two boys have already started making out their Christmas wish list. They spent hours cutting out their must-haves from the newly arrived toy magazine.
Happy. Did I say happy? That word that seems within reach and yet, just out of grips of our fingertips.
Webster defines happy as "(a) feeling or showing pleasure or contentment or (b) fortunate and convenient." Synonyms include cheerful, merry, joyful, carefree, untroubled and delighted...just to name a few.
I remember as a child begging my parents for a pony. I would pray faithfully every single night “Oh God, please give me a pony.” I had convinced myself that a pony would satisfy my deepest longings. By all means, I would ride my lil’ pony in the dead cold of winter to school, over the hills and through the woods…paying no mind to the fact that I grew up in Iowa which treacherously boasts temperatures well below zero and intolerable to human beings let alone lil’ ponies. I also convinced myself that this so-called lil’ pony could live in our jam-packed garage, next to the two cars, lawnmower, doghouse, 5 bicycles, snow-blower and numerous trashcans. Somehow there must be room in there for a small mammal!
Mind you, I had never been around a pony, with the exception of the county fair that came to town once a year. Also, I had no idea there was such a thing as “city ordanainces.” So, when I never got a pony I naturally assumed that my Mom and Dad were holding out on me. That they must not really love me. That they weren’t doing what was best for me.
Sounds ridiculous, right?
Funny though, we seem to play the same kinda game with God. We make God out to be this ushy-gushy god that should just give us whatever our hearts desire. We make Him out to be a genie in a bottle and maybe without even realizing it, our prayers sound more like petitions to get what we want rather than praises to the Most High God.
Hmmm…conviction settling in as I write. (no bueno).
For years, I would sorta dread the holidays. I knew my ER working husband would have to either work on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day (and he still does…somethings never change). I knew that meant I would have to explain to our kids why Daddy wasn’t home. Trying to tell them he is in public service saving people’s lives doesn’t always fly with a toddler. They want their Daddy home. And then I would hear this lie from the Enemy telling me this…”Look at her life….look at what she has…doesn’t she look so happy?“
When our eyes begin to wander to what everyone else has or to what everyone else is doing–look out.
Wandering eyes get us into a heap of trouble
The Enemy will always taunt us with “If only I _________.” He will tell us the grass is greener on the other side. He will convince us that the pursuit of the American Dream is the answer. Money. Wealth. Fame. You name it…fill in the blank that personifies you. He wants nothing more than to see you become unrattled, especially as we enter a season of thankfulness to our Lord. But you know what? God has a better way. A different path. One that not everyone is willing to follow….
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
I’M A BIT CURIOUS…WHAT IS YOUR “IF ONLY?” MAYBE EVEN FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD…THAT ONE THING THAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD COMPLETE YOU AND BRING YOU SUCH TREMENDOUS JOY?