Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant
nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain,
but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age,
so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:17-18
Balaam was an interesting guy. His story resonates with that restless I so often sense inside of me.
He was drawn to godliness, intrigued by God’s people, danced around the edges of what Paul called “the life that is truly life”. And yet Balaam just wouldn’t let go of what he was certain he needed.
He needed more money. He craved prestige. He’d do about anything for a good word of approval and praise.
I can so relate…
This morning I woke up restless again. Worried again. Uptight and fretful and without joy again.
I delved right into the Word without so much as a Hello, God, how are You? I had a list to cross off and I was behind on my list. Again.
Deuteronomy chapter 11 was first. All about the blessings of obedience and the misery of disobedience. In spite of my task oriented determination to fly through a few chapters fast this morning, my heart just stuck right here.
Why don’t I feel blessed? Why am I so… grim?
What’s wrong with me?
I couldn’t think of any outright disobedience. No obvious sin came to my mind.
I felt a little Balaam-ish… wanting, striving, craving MORE.
More perfection in my slightly messy home. Surely if I get my house cleaned up just so, then I’ll be happy.
More things crossed off my list. Surely if I can just get ahead of all these tasks that need doing, then I’ll be happy.
More approval from people. Surely if I do something, that person who is so critical will like me and then I’d be happy.
More stuff. Surely, if my sofa wasn’t sagging and my carpet was newer and my fridge worked better, then I’d be happy.
And suddenly I know exactly what’s wrong with me. Like Balaam, I’m skirting around the edges of the life that is truly life, unable to fully embrace that life because I’m clinging to other gods.
And the One true God, the One who calls Himself my Father, just won’t have it. He insists on being enough.
What sweet relief! Joy! I feel the start of a smile unclench my grimness.
He is enough!
I don’t need a perfectly clean and alphabetically ordered life.
I don’t need everyone to like me all the time.
I certainly don’t need a new sofa when mine is nicely broken in and slightly tattered, just right for grandkids and good friends and my coffee-sloshing family.
I don’t know if I’ll ever learn this lesson enough to not forget again… but I’m so thankful for my Father’s reminder this morning.
He is enough for me. More than enough.
He, and He alone, satisfies my cravings. He, and He alone, is what I long for.
It is His perfection I want. His beauty I need. His newness every morning that fills me with that wonderful sense of acquiring something really good— something great.
I’m still behind on my list, still surrounded by imperfection, still sitting on my sagging sofa…
and all settled into that life He gives…
From my heart,
And you? Have you figured out what it is you’re craving? Dare you be honest enough to let us know and give us hope? I’d love to learn from you…