Right now, there’s a lot of “new” about to happen in my life. I’m am soon to be graduated from Asbury, and will then discover what life holds for a non-student for the first time in more than 20 years. Soon after that I will be married and then have to learn to live with and share a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom with a boy. Something that I’ve also never done. Not to mention that in these next 3 months are occasions such as an anniversary, birthday and Christmas, and how dare we forget that Saturday is sweetest day – whatever that is. What I’m getting at is there are a lot of occasions coming up very quickly in my life where gifts will be received; and honestly I’m starting to get a little anxious about it all.
I love gifts, let’s be clear. I love the surprise of what is packed in the box. I love the thought you can tell was put into it from the giver. I really do love it all and I appreciate it all. But in the back of my mind, want and need gnaw at me. And that’s what makes me really anxious, having so much that I don’t “need.”
Right now, next to nothing is “new” in my apartment. I think the only thing is my bed, even my mattress I bought used. (It was a risk I admit, but it’s worked out well.) And honestly, it works. I have 7 plates- which is more than enough for me. All of them have chips taken out of them and have lost their luster, but they work. The same for my glasses, they’re glasses. They aren’t fancy and they don’t all match, but they hold water that I can drink -so they also essentially work. I have a leather couch and love seat set that I bought used, and by used I mean one had fresh pen drawings from a 3 year old on the back of it. After some elbow grease and rubbing alcohol, they were a steal. You get the picture.
Everything I need has been provided by God. Not all of it is shiny and pretty (which if you know me well, you know that aesthetics do matter to me) but I do have everything I need. I love the idea of living within the pottery barn catalog, but I know that for many reasons, I won’t even come close.
In the sixth chapter of Matthew we are warned to not be anxious of things such as these, what we will eat, and what we will drink and what we will wear – because God will provide it to those of faith. It’s humbling to realize that I have never gone without. I may not have had my favorite things, or been the most trendy but as the Matthew says “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Though this scripture traditionally talks to those who in that day really did worry about where their next meal came from or fresh water, it also speaks to me and to you. Maybe God isn’t saying to you through this scripture “I will provide bread for your table tonight.” He could be saying I will provide blinds for your windows,- the take home is the same. You have worth, much more than the birds of the air. You have worth, much more than the creatures of the sea and these things you want, they’re blessings, not needs.
What if our largest desire wasn’t a beautiful new dining room set, or a bed room suite where everything matched, but was the Lord? The Lord isn’t going to bless you with all of the aesthetically pleasing things you would like to have on account of your faith, but things that you do have, the needs that are met day in and day out, become that much more beautiful. Want to have a life where everything is brand new? Recognize the worth God gave you, and the worth he didn’t give to your things. Appreciate the value of the things that have meaning, and the value of everything else around you will also increase, because you will see it with eyes of gratitude. The only anxiety you feel then, will be the desire of expressing thanksgiving for all that you have.
Heavenly Father, thank you for always providing what we need and not what we want. Thank you for chipped plates and marked up furniture that shows the beauty of the life you have given us to live. Mostly Father, thank you for the worth that you have placed within each of us. The worth that you gift every day for us to open and be refreshed. Help us to not desire new blessings, but to see already evident blessings in a new light. We love you and it’s in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.