Monday, July 17, 2006

Temporary Satisfaction

by Donna L. Watkins

A. W. Tozer says, “The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness.”

I’ve been reading a book given to me by my Auntie Carolyn. “Seasons Of My Heart,” written by Barbara Peretti. In it she details her marriage with Frank Peretti and the many struggles they had financially and spiritually along the way.

From 1972 to 1990 they prayed in most of their daily provisions and worked toward their dreams at what seemed like a slow pace, as they grew in character and wisdom and love for each other. During this time they lived in a remodeled chicken coop growing food and counting pennies. In 1990 Frank Peretti’s novels were bringing in overflowing blessings and they were finally able to build a home.

A dream come true for Barbara was to purchase some fine Queen Anne furniture, at about the same time as they added a Great Pyrenees puppy to the family since they could now afford food for another mouth. The beautiful cherry furniture brought great pleasure, as did the adorable puppy, Reuben.

She writes, “One day while vacuuming I was horrified to discover deep teeth marks in the legs of my cherished wing chairs. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Surely the sweet, bundle of fur that delightfully nuzzled our necks with his wet little doggy nose wouldn’t do such a thing! I had never found a shredded sock, not even a shoe with a hole in the sole. But though the disfiguring evidence was merely circumstantial, I had to rule Reuben the guilty party.

I have never replaced the scarred chair legs. Instead I allow the deep scratches to remind me that ordinary treasures are perishable; they cannot offer enduring enjoyment. The bright spring flowers come and go with the passing seasons, our furniture has since accumulated additional mars and scratches, even our puppy “has aged and his 148-pound frame is resting from a second knee surgery. The distinct pleasure each earthly thing brings to our lives is temporal; the joy it affords lasts but for a season.

Limitless joy, on the other hand, is found in God’s immeasurable bounty. The pearls of wisdom that do endure the test of time lie hidden in God’s Word. They are awaiting our discovery. Deep abiding peace comes when we apply God’s principles to our lives; and for those who accept Christ’s redeeming act of death on the cross, He extends the most valuable treasure of all - life eternal.”

Father, Your Word says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you besides.” When I look at all the things and stuff in my life, I realize that it has brought brief temporary pleasure. Only Your love and the eternal life You offer is permanent. Thank you for the many blessings You give me each day and for the wonders of Creation around us that shout glory to Your name. May I worship You for who You are and not for what You give to me. Thank you for lifting me up in the storms of life and giving me hope, peace and joy to choose from on the list of Your many provisions of shelter. Amen

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