And that’s just the short list.
We all want more of what we don’t have; we fill our desires only to replace them with new ones. We want a new car so we get one. The new one lacks certain added extras and we reminisce about the old one, which had the one thing that this one doesn’t.
Desires can plague us. My husband has been coveting an iPad for so long that I hardly remember a time when he didn’t want an iPad. I have wanted someone else to clean my house nearly all my adult life.
All those minutes and hours and days pining for things we want. I have always wanted something other than what I have. I am spoiled and ungrateful.
So are our kids. They, like us, want everything they see. Our son buys a yo-yo and he looks around for another, better, faster one. Our daughter has thirty thousand stuffed animals, and still wants one more. They want a piece of candy, and in no time they have eaten the whole bag.
We try to teach them that we can’t have everything we want, and then we tell them to get in the car – we have a 30% percent off coupon at Kohl’s to use that expires tomorrow.
We blame society, culture, other people – they pressure us to get what we don’t need.
But I know better. I know that I don’t need everything, and when my closets are stuffed and drawers are overflowing, I know that there’s only one person who is to blame for all the excess around me, and that’s me.
I know that I am not filling my life with the things I really need.
I know that the things that will fill me up are not things, but man, how easy things are to obtain, how simple and quick is my satisfaction with them.
But just as quickly, the satisfaction evaporates.
God gives us many ways to be satisfied: through reading his word, which always seems to cover any life circumstance, through Jesus’ life story, which is amazing and lovely and tragic and comforting, through the many lessons we learn with the Holy Spirit’s testimony. When we focus on the truth of God’s gifts, we are less satisfied by things we can get from the world.
Like everything else, it’s a daily effort to find God in this life. But when we make that effort, it becomes a habit that satisfies much more than anything we obtain on our own.
But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed. Exodus 16:18 (NLT)
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Psalm 23:1 (NLT)
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Matthew 6:32 (NLT)
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:31 (NLT)
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. Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:5 (NLT)