Is Excess Replacing Your Gratitude?
Full Life Reflections: December 1st
With it now being December, it’s easy to look around and notice how the words “gratitude” and “thankfulness” quickly get pushed aside and replaced by the words, “excess” and “more”.
Walking through a department store recently, I noticed boxes upon boxes piled up throughout the aisles. Store employees were hurrying around to unbox and place all the items on shelves for the Christmas season. Pushing my shopping cart around the store, I felt cramped, almost claustrophobic with the number of clothes, games, Christmas decorations, toys, and everything else that was piled up next to me. There was barely enough room for me to go down the aisle without knocking something off a hanger or off a shelf. And there definitely wasn’t room for another shopping cart to go down the aisle alongside me.
As the employees bustled from one place to the next, I overheard their headset chatter. There was talk of another large truck coming in tomorrow, but there wasn’t enough room in the back of the store or in the front for all that would be dropped off. They were instructed to tighten up more aisles, pull out more tables from the back, and condense things as much as possible.
With the record inflation and budgets being tight this year, I questioned how much of this “stuff” would actually be sold. Were people really buying all of this? It just seemed just too excessive.
Continuing on throughout the store, I admired the beautiful Christmas table decorations. I found my mind wandering, wishing we had a bigger house and a large dining room table where we could set up a nice table runner with these cute centerpieces. I remembered I had complained about this to my husband the night before. I was upset that we didn’t have more space to have company over in our home, and we could only really invite people over in the summer when there was room outside for seating. While my desire wasn’t bad, it had taken a hold of my mind. My complaint was rooted in discontentment.
As I looked at those centerpieces again in the store, I recognized I had a lot to be thankful for in our small home. I thanked God for our house and a kitchen table that fits perfectly for our family of four. I thanked Him for our big backyard that our children love to play in each season. All of this, God has provided.
I think we all probably like to think of ourselves as “thankful” and “content” people to a certain extent. But most likely contentment is something each of us struggles with in our own way. It could be a job you feel you deserve, a relationship, a family, or something else. And maybe you’ve tried to grasp those things on your own to fill that desire.
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”Luke 12:15
We each have our moments where if not checked, our desire for “more” can replace our contentment and thankfulness. While our desires may not be bad (some are very good), they can be temptations for us to turn away from God if we don’t take the time to place those desires before Him. In this season, it can be easy to fall into discontent with all the excess around us. When we’re focused too much on our fleshly desires that they consume us, we’re telling God, “You’re holding out on me, and You don’t know what’s best for me”. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
God has provided everything we need through the greatest gift in His Son, Jesus Christ. The more we turn to Christ and His Word, the more fulfilled we will be. In turning to the Lord, we are reminded of what fulfills our desires and where to direct our hearts in contentment. It doesn’t mean our desires will go away, but God will direct us in our desires. There is nothing else in this life that fills our hearts, minds, and souls with peace like our Savior. For that, I’m thankful.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4
A big thank you to all who helped me realize many of you were unable to comment through the WordPress app on my blog! It took a good two weeks to get this issue resolved, but I’m so grateful it was brought to my attention. I don’t know how long this was an issue, but I’m thankful for the diligent people who helped at Jetpack and Bluehost.
A special thank you to my dear friend, Krystal, who continually tested the comments over the last two weeks. Also, a thank you to other bloggers who helped me recognize this issue, Ann at https://sexaddictionpartners.wordpress.com/, Ada Orie at https://adascorner.wordpress.com/, and Petrina at https://impactingrighteously.com/.
Photo by Humphrey Muleba: https://www.pexels.com/photo/assorted-plush-toys-1662350/