Saturday, December 14, 2013

When it comes to God, less is not more

"every man should eat and drink and enjoy"
Ecclesiastes 3:13

We got a beautiful Christmas card from some friends today ~ a wintertime photo of their home in the mountains.  This was the home I visited with my Bible study group for a retreat.  So I've been there twice, last year and this year, but both times it was only for a day and half, and we had a pretty packed schedule.

We have a couple of teachings, some game-time, and some meals, of course.  And some quiet time and a little free time.  But not much else time.

Which meant that in the beautiful, well-equipped vacation house, there were so many things I didn't get to take advantage of.

I didn't have the opportunity to snuggle under a blanket reading a book or watching something good on TV.

I didn't have a chance to take a long walk in the woods, collecting pine cones and rocks and interesting leaves and flowers.

I didn't have time to go shopping in any of the charming shops in the nearby village.

I didn't get to sleep in late, snuggling under the lush covers in bed.

I didn't get to enjoy a fire in the fireplace.

Or enjoy a barbecue on the back deck... Or sit quietly on the upstairs balcony and watch the sun set... Or play pool in the game room...

I was very wistful about all this when I was there, wishing I could experience more of what that beautiful home had to offer.  And generally, when I'm feeling strongly about something, I know there must be a lesson there.  So I asked myself what there was to learn from the fact that I couldn't take advantage of all the great things about that house.

And what I decided is that maybe I'm not fully appreciating God, either.  He is so beautiful and fulfilling.  He is grace and truth and wisdom and knowledge and love and understanding.  He is everything good in me, but He is also every good thing I'm lacking.  And I don't take advantage of it.  I don't know if it's because I just don't think about it, or if it's because I think I can handle things alone.

I wonder how hard it would be to change my perspective.  I don't think we can ever fully appreciate all there is to Him ~ and maybe it's enough that we're aware of what He's giving us at any given moment, without even thinking of all else that He is.  You know, like when I need patience, He gives me patience, and I'm appreciating the patience without thinking about how He also gives me strength, when that's what i need.  {Hope that made sense!}

But I think I can do better.  I think while I'm busy appreciate His gift of patience, I can also be thinking about His gift of strength, too.  And His love for me.  And I'll bet, the more I appreciate, the more I'll realize how much I need of Him, and how everything I need, He is.

~ "The Lord,
  the Lord God,
merciful and gracious,
     and abounding in goodness and truth..." ~
Exodus 34:6

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