[box] Every Saturday morning, I will be sharing a little snippet from my own personal walk with God...straight from the heart. God has work to do in me too, and sometimes it's not pretty. But my prayer is that as I am honest, He is more able to do that work in me...and at the same time, encourage you as well.[/box] For the past couple of months, I have been reading Proverbs and looking at them thematically. This week, the one that stood out to me was Proverbs 14:30, "A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot."
As we have been finishing our house renovations, we are getting more and more anxious to go back home. While it has been great here for the past four months, we miss being among our familiar surroundings, shopping at our favorite grocers, and having all we need without wondering where we stored it!
But this week, I also saw the newly refurbished kitchen of one of my Facebook friends, and I began to think, "I wish mine looked like that." How quickly I become dissatisfied with what God has given me. Envy really does make the bones rot. Interesting how the home I was looking forward to returning to didn't look so good anymore.
And yet, when I read this proverb, God showed me that there was an antidote. My bones didn't have to rot. Wanting what others have only agitates my heart. Contentment and gratitude, on the other hand, settles it. It gives life instead of bringing about decay.
Tracing back, I realized it was not just being content with the kitchen and house I had, but ultimately, the life God has called us into. Because of the choices we have made for me to stay home full time and homeschool, we also chose to live on one income. Because we have chosen to pursue ministry as a vocation, that one income isn't a whole lot. We have limits that are imposed by the choices we have made.
Which led me to another thought. What if God did increase our income somehow? I know I would be tempted to live to the limit of that income too. Someone will always have more than me. I would then want what they had. I know that about myself. No, the answer is not having more money. The answer lies in the state of my heart. (Doesn't it always seem to come down to this?)
Gently, I hear my Father's rebuke: "Why do you feel like you need to be like everyone else anyway?" Basically, I am telling God that I don't like what He has given me. When I am discontent, which often leads to envy, that hunger for something else will gnaw away at my soul.
A tranquil heart is a trusting heart. A trusting heart is a life-giving posture. It would seem like a no-brainer, but I am so slow to learn.
Heavenly Father, I am sorry that I have been looking at others' gifts again instead of what You have given me. You may have given me 1 talent. I can complain that it isn't like others' gifts or I can accept what I have and use it. That is my choice. Please help me to be a faithful steward of what You have given me. You know I struggle with this over and over. Train my heart and eyes to look at You alone, for You are worth more than all this world has to offer. In Jesus' name, Amen.