Afraid of Going Without

Afraid of Going Without

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Philippians 4:12  The Message

The water in our house tastes good and is clean, but its hard. As a result, we have to purchase water for the coffee maker so it doesn’t get clogged up with calcium deposits. This wouldn’t be necessary if we had a water softener, but right now we cannot afford one. I will complain about this problem, until I read a story about the people who have no access to clean water. Then I realize I have no endurance for the great struggles of life.

Now that only two of us live in the house, we tend not to purchase as much food. There are times I come home and find few options for dinner in the refrigerator. I might complain there is no food, but really, I just don’t want to go looking for it. I’ve come to expect immediacy and see my participation (going to buy the food) as some great struggle in my life. Then I’ll see children scrounging over a large pile of garbage looking for food. Shame will wash over me as I realize I have no endurance for the struggles of life.

Sunday mornings I can never figure out what to wear. I get tired of wearing the same thing over and over again. I need a new wardrobe makeover, even though my closet is full of clothes.  Once again, at some point in my week, I will see people who wear the same clothes every day. I have no endurance for the struggles of life.

The truth is we can have all the essentials for life and still be poor. Purchasing new clothes may make us feel good about ourselves, but that feeling is only fleeting. Eventually, we discover they only provide a temporary cover over the broken pieces of our fragmented lives. We may have an abundance of food and water, but that does not feed our spiritual loneliness. Unlike Paul, we tend not to be happy with plenty and are afraid of going without.

Wealth can mask our need for something other than ourselves. Yet, it can never completely convince our souls. People who depend solely on themselves for happiness never truly discover joy. Paul is able to endure the great struggles of life because he is thankful. Thankfulness helps remind us that God is participating in our lives. It is God who fills our hearts with lasting joy.

Click to read: Philippians 4: 10-17

Reflection Questions:

  • How would you respond to – Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am?
  • When has this been true in your life?
  • When has this not been true in our life?
  • How does thankfulness produce joy?
  • What does thankfulness look like?

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