Monday, July 18, 2011

Rich toward God

Today my husband and daughter left to visit his parents for a few days.  Due to my pain the trip just isn't possible for me.  I am in a pretty bad pain flare right now so I know it is good that I didn't try to go, but it's still hard not to be with my family right now. It's hard to admit that I am unable to do the things most people can do.  My husband only gets a few days off of work a year and he is using almost half of them to visit his family. We get such little time to just be together between his work, his graduate studies, our house renovations, and all he has to do around the house that I don't feel like doing. While gone, they plan to take my daughter to the aquarium and do other fun things. Pictures will be taken and memories made that I will not be a part of.

Times like these I wonder what the future will look like. Will I never travel again? I love to travel. Will my daughter's childhood memories of "fun things" not include her mommy?  What will happen to me? I surely cannot continue at this level of pain for the next 30+ years. My health has already deteriorated a lot in the last year.

It's easy to feel sorry for myself.  If I am not careful I can begin to covet the lives of others....covet their health, their wealth, their ease of life.  Our pastor preached a convicting sermon this week on the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21.
"And he (Jesus) said to them, 'Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'"(v.15)
I think most of us think of covetousness as desiring others' things or possessions, but covetousness involves longing for anything that is not ours as we are warned in the ten commandments, Exodus 20:17. The root of coveting is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). It is not being content with what God has given us and it is not trusting God's good and perfect plan for our life.  Jesus tells this greedy brother that "life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions".  I think we could insert whatever thing we desire more than God in the place of possessions if it begins to become something we covet: health, children, marriage, job, ease of life, name it.
I know sometimes I have justified my covetousness saying, "I don't desire health more than God, I just want God and I want health, what's wrong with that?"  But do I think about being healthy again more than I think about God? Do I research more about my condition and treatment options than I read my Bible?  Will I love God and trust Him even if I don't regain my health?  Jesus says we must guard against even the smallest degree of covetousness.
At the end of the parable the rich man has all his heart's desires and says,
"Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." (v. 19-21)
I don't want God to call me "fool" for laying around crying and wishing I didn't live in chronic pain. It's something I must battle against because I want to be rich toward God. What about you, are you spending your life no matter how easy or how difficult laying up treasure for yourself or for God?


  1. I have so few words... your posts always convict me to the core. I am praying for you friend. There will be an end to all of your pain one day. Praying He gives grace to you one moment at a time, and joy to keep trusting in the midst of such tremendous suffering. Love you. -bfm

  2. I never thought of it like that before but you're right. I guess looking at the lives my friends have and wishing I could do the things they do is coveting their lives, careers, health, freedom, relationships. I've been struggling again the last few days, desperately sad that I'm stuck in this life, desperately lonely. Its so difficult not to wish I was well - I know that some of it is legitimate grief for what I've lost but now that you say it I'm sure it often crosses over the line to covetousness. Its a hard word to hear but something I'm going to have to think and pray about!

  3. I've been having trouble with this particularly more so lately. Just last night I was throwing myself a pity party wondering if I'm going to always be like this. It's a daily, hourly, moment-by-moment battle to not desire health, a meaningful job, etc. before the Lord. You are not alone friend. Thanks for sharing.