December 8, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Looking back on my life, I have been truly blessed. I have a very loving and caring family who has always been there for me. I have been blessed with some of the greatest friends anyone could ask for, and I have the most amazing and beautiful woman in my life.
The one thing I think I am missing, is a good memory. I say this, because I often forget how blessed I am; I forget how fortunate I am to have such wonderful and amazing people in my life. I forget, that I didn’t do anything to deserve a woman like her, but instead that she is in my life by the grace of God.
I think this is something that we all forget. We look at our lives and see what we are missing, instead of what we have. We look so far down the road, that we miss the blessings that are right in front of our face. Instead of being thankful for what we have, we ‘lust’ after what we do not.
As humans, that is one of our biggest problems; we are never satisfied. We always want more. Perhaps it is more money, perhaps more power or influence, perhaps a bigger house or a more ‘normal’ family. There are lots of things we want in life, lots of things that we desire, and they keep our focus on we do not have, instead of what we do.
And of course, this misguided focus, this lust for the things we do not have, is often the very thing that hurts and destroys relationships. I do not think there is a better example of this than Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve had everything anyone could have wanted; they had each other, they had a garden full of fruits and vegetables, they were the rulers of all beasts, and they had one of the closest relationships with God.
But for Adam and Eve, that wasn’t enough. They were still unsatisfied because they hadn’t fulfilled all of their dreams. They wanted more! Instead of looking at the beautiful garden, and how blessed their lives were, they wanted something they couldn’t have; the forbidden fruit. And they pursued that desire, just like many of us pursue desires that may not be beneficial to ourselves or to our families, and in doing so they lost nearly everything.
By focusing on their desires, instead of their relationship with God, they destroyed it. By focusing on their desires, instead of the blessing of their home, the Garden of Eden, they lost it. By focusing on their desires, the first recorded ‘blame’ entered their relationship.
Perhaps that is one of the most dangerous lusts, the lust of being self-perfect; to know everything and be right all the time. This lust by itself causes us to ignore others opinions, feelings, and a lot of the times, the truth. Just like Adam blamed Eve to protect himself, this lust causes us to blame others to protect our pride (Proverbs 13:10).
Christmas is a time for us to reflect on the blessings we have received, and not the ones we haven’t. Christmas isn’t about giving gifts, but acknowledging the gifts we have been given. Christmas is a time for us to really take a deep look at ourselves, and ask, “What are we lusting for,” and more importantly, “Why?”
Christmas is a time to be satisfied; a time for us to cherish the gifts God has given us. To cherish the wonderful salvation provided to us through His son Jesus Christ, to cherish our personal relationship with Him, to cherish our families and friends, and to cherish the many other blessings we have received.
This season, ask yourself, “What blessings have I been given,” and then ask yourself, “How can I cherish them, and show that I am thankful for them?”