• Amber Albee Swenson

Don't get talked into miserable

Oh the fun of shopping! It's such a great feeling to find just what you want for a portion of the price.

I recently heard Dr. Gary Chapman speak. He said for approximately two years after we meet a person we are enraptured. By the end of that two years their flaws are apparent and even sort of irritating. If you've been married, had a sibling or a child for more than two years that isn't news to you.

That new car makes driving fun. A new house makes coming home a pleasure. But over time that feeling fades. It's just a house or car. Newer models are designed better, look better, offer more.

It's easy to feel pretty miserable when looking through the ads and realizing you don't own the latest fashions and your body doesn't look anything like the model's.

The apostle Paul gives us a hint. "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12).

And what is that hint?

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Hm. I'm not sure that's going to help me while looking through the newspaper ads. I can do everything?

Yes. I can look past the new pair of jeans in the ads and with the strength God provides be thankful for legs that work and allow me to serve my family. That new tech gadget; is it going to bring me closer to the Lord or cause me to spend too much time entertaining myself, even elicit laziness? Through the strength God provides I can remind myself that is not in my family's best interest. I can dream of a big house with a huge kitchen and likely a huge pricetag, or I can, through the strength God provides, see the blessings of my own house: the roof over my head, the cozy beds and loaded kitchen cupboards. I can be mesmerized and tempted and led astray or through Christ I can remember my purpose.

It's hard at times not to be miserable this time of year until I remember my Heavenly Father's provision and that jewel of heaven who left splendor to come to poverty.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Contentment is realizing someone loved you so much He gave up everything for you. You can't buy that kind of love in a store. And His love doesn't fade or grow old. I'll take that and pass on all the other.

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