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My husband has worked an hour and a half from home for about two years now. It would make sense for us to move closer, but the current housing market makes it virtually impossible for us to sell our house without destroying our credit. When we entertain the idea of moving and search online for houses in our price range, I start feeling like a very blue berry. Seeing how much bigger and nicer these houses are than our current home, I get angry that we paid so much for so little, and even become envious of those who are now paying so little for so much. The more houses I look at, the more I want and start creeping out of my price range, pining for things I will probably never have, and forgetting that God has already provided immeasurably more than what I’ll ever need.
Do you ever feel like Madame Blueberry, surrounded by too much stuff yet jealous of what others have? What better time than the Lenten season to purge our lives from all our extra stuff? And in the process of making room for God, why not bless others and “give generously” (Psalm 37:21) by donating some of our material possessions? Psalm 37:4 says to “delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Of course, we know that this doesn’t mean that God will grant us whatever we want, but as we grow closer to the Lord, His desires become our desires. Just like in a marriage, as we grow closer to each other, it delights us to make the other happy, and our desires become one in the same.
Are your desires God’s desires? Are your ways committed to the Lord (Psalm 37:5) or are you like the Cretans in Titus 1:16 who “claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him”? Titus 1:8-9 gives us a good picture of one who delights in the Lord: “(An elder) must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
Lord, this Lenten season, I want to delight in You and not in the things of this world. Make Your desires my desires. Lord, I commit my ways to You. Give me the strength to be self-controlled and disciplined, and the wisdom to defend Your Word. Let me be an encouragement and a blessing to others both in word and deed. Thank you for all of your many blessings, and most of all for suffering and dying for my sins. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ivy is a former camper and summer staffer at Delanco Camp who now lives in Michigan. She was featured in our Where Are They Now column back in 2009.