Sometimes when life isn’t rocking the way we want it to, it’s very easy to think of all that we don’t have. We look over to the well manicured lawn of our neighbours (in the spring, when the snow goes away) and then we look at our own and the weeds and the dandelions and the places where the grass just won’t grow. I don’t know if you’re every tempted to do that but I know I am. We think about the cruise that our co-worker is going on and we’re going camping this summer…in a tent…again. We think of the new model vehicle that our brother has and the duct tape and the dirt that’s holding ours together. We think of our neighbour who has the corner office and the six figure salary and all the perks and it seems that our career is going nowhere.

One of the things that I think that the believer needs to always have front and centre in their mind is their spiritual blessings in Christ. We are loaded! Ephesians 1:3 is a place that I often turn in my head to remind me of those spiritual blessings that I have…but I don’t turn there as often as I should. My election, my sanctification, my glorification, the Spirit of God who resides inside…the Word of God…brothers and sisters in Christ …spiritual gifts….many  spiritual blessings…an overflowing cup. And we should be thankful for those. They should be the things at the top of our flagpole that we are most mindful of. But we also have physical blessings to be thankful for.

[2] You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. (James 4:2 ESV)

[10] I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. [11] Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. [12] I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. [13] I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:10-13 ESV)

James says we can get all sideways when we don’t get what we want but Paul shows the flip side. He had learned to be content in all circumstance. His joy was in Jesus, that’s what the whole book shows again and again. But with Jesus as his joy, it seems that that was the foundation to him being content whether the cupboard was bare or if the cupboard was full. He had a deep trust in God.

I would suggest that one of the things that we need to learn how to do is want what we already have. Hebrews 13:5 tells us to be content with what we have.

I was taking stock of what was in our freezer this morning and as I thought I ended up delighting in what I had…I wish I did this more often. Many times we get frustrated when something breaks or blows up like our stove did at Christmas time but we have a beast of a freezer. I got it when Bonita’s Oma went to be with the Lord in ’90. I kept it in the corner by the main door at my first little apartment in Timmins. It’s not huge but it’s a good size for a family of four. We’ve used it in Timmins, Guelph, Brigden, and now in St.T. I don’t know how old it was when I got it but it keeps on going and going like the Energizer Bunny. These are those little things that we take for granted. It’s saved us a lot of money over the years because I stock up when there’s a deal. Whenever burgers go on sale at the beginning of bbq season you can be sure that I’m off to No Frills to buy ten boxes are so. That old freezer could die tomorrow and it wouldn’t owe us a thing…and I’m thankful.

There are a lot of things we all take for granted in this life but often realize it too late. Look around and take stock. You’ll be amazed at a lot of what you have if you want what you already got…the spiritual and the physical.


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