Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Bad Case of the Gimmes

Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,"...  (Hebrews 13:5, MSG)

I am as guilty of it as the next person -- that "unholy habit of discontent", as author Linda Dillow* describes it.  I am blessed with a lovely suburban home, but I want a better one.  I have three beautiful children, but I want healthy, problem-free kids.  I have the best medical care in the world, but I want a cure.

It occurred to me a number of days ago that we, as adults are not unlike our children, brimming with avarice.  The kids just get one thing checked off of their list, and they want something more.  They have the DS, and the DSi, but now they want the 3DS.  We shake our heads in shame and discouragement, wondering how we have failed as parents that our children can't see the boundless blessings strewn in front of them.  Yet, we're hardly different than they.

When I quiet myself and disengage from the busy-ness of this world, I have time to contemplate all of my blessings.  I can take that moment to gaze up at a star-filled sky, realizing that every pinpoint of light is actually planet-sized.  And my breath is taken away as I realize that the Creator of the Universe cares about every little detail of microscopic me!  Or I can watch the evening news with stories from around the world of people suffering immense injustices like war, famine or disease.  And I'm suddenly overwhelmed by the realization that there, but for the boundless grace of God, go I.

What about you?  Have you stopped to pause from your strife with the school to notice the soft gentle curves of your child's face?  Have you pulled away from the battles with the insurance company long enough to just enjoy small, tender moments with your special child?  Have you spent time "marinating", as I like to call it, on the powerful but sweet ways God uses your family to touch people all around you?

Our calling as parents of children with unique abilities is not an easy one.  And if we let the demands of this life suck every inch out of us, we can find ourselves in quite a pit of discontent.  "The gimmes" are a natural result.  Feeling we would be happy if only our child could finally adjust on a medication or if we finally came into some money or if we had just one extended family member who understood.  But God calls us to have our focus upward.  Let me remind you that He tells us, "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, GWT)

Does God want us to give thanks for the horrid suffering and injustice that may beset us?  Not necessarily.  He's calling us to give thanks for the lavish blessings He's poured out in spite of those horrific things. When we're praying, relishing how good He is to us and offering thanks, our sight can't help but be focused heavenward.  No matter what we lose, it is nothing in comparison to what we still have forever in Jesus.  What amazing grace!  And how incredibly useful that makes us in reflecting His glory to a dark, hurting world!

The next time you find yourself with a bad case of "the gimmes", stop to think how pathetic your children look in the same position.  Grab hold of your thought process, and begin giving thanks!  Ruminate on the notion that the God of the Universe will never leave you or forsake you.  That's pretty awesome!  What more could the little average human want? 

Pray:  Lord of all, You have been so gracious to me!  Guard my heart so that I'm not lured into envying the things of this world.  Thank You that the eternity you have assured me is far more than I could ever ask or imagine!
*Quote from  Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow / ISBN 1-60006-141-9
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