|Quote credit:Mary Davis Image credit: everydayspirit.net|
This gratitude thought with the gorgeous rose image was exactly what I needed today. "All I have is all I need."
This is gratitude in a nutshell.
Think about it. Gratitude changes doesn't change God, it changes us!
The constant bombardment of "stuff" on the TV and internet are a tough cross to bear. (Some of the happiest and most creative people have no TV.)
The "Stuff-mart" on every corner keeps us constantly tempted. I am guilty of coming home with more than I intended and more than I need, just because it was there.
We enjoy some television programming at our house, but have to remind ourselves that it is not real world...at least not our "real world." It is not our real income level. One of our God gifted powers is the power to think for ourselves and make choices (choices that defy instinct and human nature). To choose to be content with what we have is practically a super power.
To continually long for more than our resources provide sets us up for a cycle of despair and a cycle of debt. I believe debt leads to soul bondage...and perpetuates more poor choices. Again, look to the media for one story after another.
There is a reason that God included "Thou shall not covet" in the 10 Commandments. Not because he doesn't want to bless us with good things. He does. Still, when the "stuff" becomes what we love "with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength", then we break the first four commandments. When love of stuff keeps us from loving our neighbor, we fail at the last six commands from the mouth of God.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” Exodus 20:17
House envy. Spouse envy. Jealousy over another person's stuff plants the seeds of trouble into lives and relationships.
There are examples where God blesses good stewards. And, excellent stewards can do much with little. The secret lies in making good choices and being content with what we have. Now, we can make mistakes and the market is volatile, but God knows our hearts. For some, it takes a financial crisis to bring them to the foot of the cross.
I once heard this thought, "The greener grass on the other side of the fence still needs to be mowed." We can be grateful we have green grass...and a yard...and a mower... and a home to call our own. Dissatisfaction can lead to self-destruction.
In Genesis 3, the serpent planted the seeds of doubt, discontentment and jealousy. He awakens in them a sense of "you should have more and you can be more." Eve and Adam grew it right into sin.
Jesus, when asked by his disciples to teach them to pray, Jesus said this, "Give us this day our daily bread." Not bread for the week, or the month but our manna for the day. Trusting him for our daily needs. Then, there is the unique joy that come from taking that "daily bread" and sharing it with someone in need.
When all that I have is enough...and that "enough" is shared it becomes abundance. It is the miracle of the loaves and fishes in our daily lives.
Today, I am grateful that "All I have is all I need.".