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Spoken Prayer – Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His Word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
If ONLY I had . . . then I would be happy
by Mary Alice McGinnis
How would you fill in this sentence? “If ONLY I had . . . then I would be happy! Then I would finally be content.” Where do you find this lingering thirst for satisfaction? If only I had . . . a better job. If only I had . . . more money. If only I had . . . a better home. If only I had . . . a better spouse. If only I had . . . more time. If only I had . . . better relationships. If only, if only, if only. Don’t we find that it is an endless search? Don't we find ourselves continually looking for the NEXT new gadget, the next new thing, the next PERFECT circumstance, that will FINALLY make us feel content? Even when we obtain that magical thing that promised to make us happy, we soon find out how fleeting the sense of satisfaction is. Soon the discontent sets in again, followed by the incessant drive to want the next thing!! The more we want, the more our hearts want more. Today’s reading really challenges me to take a deeper look at my search for happiness and contentment. In 1 Timothy 6:6, Paul reminds the young man, Timothy:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” In context, Paul was warning Timothy that many were seeking “godliness” to gain wealth, notoriety, and the comforts of this life. But Paul adds that godliness must be accompanied “with contentment.” How does that change things? Ponder on a few of these definitions of contentment: A feeling of sufficiency – of having enough. A perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed. A frame of mind which is completely independent of all outward things, and which carried the secret of happiness within itself. Contentment never comes from the possession of external things. (Barclay) Then Paul packs a power punch with his very next words:
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” 1 Timothy 6:7 This is one of the reasons I love visiting cemeteries. It may sound a little morbid to some, but it reminds me about how short this life is. It reminds me that I belong to the King of Kings and the Lord of All. It reminds me that HE is my everything because He is the ONLY thing in my life that will last forever. It reminds me to hold all the things of this world with an open hand. What might contentment look like in your life? Considering listening to the following song as you meditate on these thoughts today.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, forgive me for my endlessly search for happiness that leaves me unsatisfied and discontented. Help me to see that YOU are my EVERTHING!