Food for thought…What do you have?

what do you have

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

We have 4 boys, all under the age of 7. So because they are close in age, lots of times they are competing with each other.  They are always making sure that they are receiving the same amount of toys, birthday gifts, sleepovers at grandmas.  They pretty much do it with everything.  The problem with this is, well the obvious reason is that it causes them to fight about everything.  It also causes them to look at what they dont have rather than what they do have.

For Christmas this year, like every year, we bought them the exact same amount of gifts.  Some cost more than others, and I spent different amounts of money on each kid.  They dont care about that, they just check to make sure that they received the same amount of presents.  I spent the most money on my oldest son because on of his gifts was an electronic device that was a little more pricey than they rest of my kid’s gifts.  The day after Christmas, he said “I just feel like I didnt get any good Lego sets, oh and what about nerf guns, I dont like my nerf guns as much as their nerf guns, thats not fair”  

As a parent, I hate hearing those words come out of my child’s mouth.  I explained to him that Christmas should never be about gifts and that I actually spent more money on his gifts than anyone else’s gifts,  instead of looking that what he doesn’t have, he needs to look at all the gifts that he was blessed with.  Thankfully he quickly saw that he was wrong, and it caused him to change his attitude. 

I have often times found myself in this same predicament.  Only my circumstances are not with gifts, but rather time.  My husband is very involved in church, we have lots of kids, and they are all boys so we lack having a lot of spare time.  I often times can look at other peoples lives and covet the time that they have.  A friend of mine told me a couple of days ago that she was going home to take a nap. A nap? What is that? It has been so many years that I have taken a nap that I have forgotten what it’s like to take naps.  I coveted that.  I want a nap.  A really long one.  Or even a good nights sleep. One where 4 kids dont climb into my bed and wake me up, one where someone in the family is not up and ready for breakfast at 5 am, one where someone doesnt wake me up because they peed the bed.  I covet anyone that has nights that they fall asleep and dont wake up until morning.  

Yes, you just read my rant!! Here is my point, I can look at what I dont have. But it causes me to miss out on what I do have.  It causes ungratefulness to breed in my heart which leads to me feeling depressed.  Satan wants to do that in your life and mine.  He wants you to see all of your hard circumstances, and he wants you to think about them.  Why? Because when you think about them, are you giving thanks to God? No.  Satan wants to steal your joy, your gratitude towards God and he does that by amplifying the areas of your life in which you are discontent.  He does that by reminding you of what others have, and what you dont have.  

Contentment stems from focusing on Jesus, and when we have contentment we find joy in all of our circumstances.  It causes us to have a heart of gratitude for the blessings that we do have.  Sure, I would love a good night’s sleep.  But soon my kiddos will be grown, and I’ll miss them climbing into my bed at night.   The time with those little rascals is irreplaceable, and I wouldnt trade it for anything, not even a good nights sleep.  Although…… I have been daydreaming about taking a nap! 

Ask God to cause you to see the blessings in your life, and focus on them.  Just as it changed my son’s attitude to be reminded of all that he had, I guarantee it will change your attitude when God reminds you of all that you have.  Be thankful, and keep your eyes upon our Savior.


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