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Now on to my topic:
This week I met up with a dear friend whom I haven't seen much this past year. It seemed like no time had past between us at all as we quickly caught up with each other . As she was telling me about her children and their activities, their private school education, their family's ski vacation, their Christmas gifts and as she looked like a million bucks from head to foot, I found myself running a mental total of the thousands and thousands of dollars all these things cost. Not only does she have the tangible things in life but the intangible things as well like an emotionally stable husband with a well-paying job. By the time I got to my car, I was in an all-out mind battle with jealousy.
Now, I've been down this road before. Call it what you want, "keeping up with the Joneses" or "Conspicuous consumption", this pattern of thinking has landed me in the ditch every time. A few years ago, after 17 years of marriage and much financial disappointment, I came to a point of crisis of faith. I questioned, "Is God really good?" In my mind's eye, He had not been very good to me. I had a husband who was "mentally ill" (see What I Believe) and couldn't hold a job, my marriage was falling apart, we were struggling financially and I was left carrying more than my share of providing income and managing my household than I had bargained for. And from my perspective, my hopes and dreams had gone down the tubes. While my friends, on the other hand, were going on vacation, buying new cars and sending out Christmas letters with beautiful family pictures, just to let me know how well things were going for them...ahem! Alas, the eyes are the lamp of the body and from what I could see, things had become very dark.
In the midst of my darkness, God took the blinders off my eyes to see this very important truth.
19,20) Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth... But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22) The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light,
23) But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24) No one can serve two masters, either he will hate the one and love the other, or will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:22-24
Do verses 22 and 23 seem out of place? What do our eyes have to do with seeking treasure or serving money? Apparently, a lot. It is our eyes that give us our perspective on how we view ourselves and those around us. Our perspective has to do with the position of the heart. I guess my eyes were bad because my whole body was full of darkness. I had a really hard time reconciling the desires of my heart with the promises of God. I questioned God about whether He would give me the desires of my heart.
Have you ever questioned God about His promises? You know what? It's okay to ask as long as you also seek His answer. How quickly I forget how truly blessed I am. Never have I gone without a meal, shivered for lack of heat, wondered if I would have enough baby formula or diapers, been homeless or without a car. But, oh, how my eyes hurt from viewing life from my glass-half-empty, pity-party perspective.
In your eyes, are things looking pretty bleak? Is the darkness stealing your life away? Have you forgotten what joy feels like? If you have a moment, turn on some instrumental music and take time to soak in this verse.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you as well. Matthew 6:33
Pray that God would help you to seek Him first every day and set your perspective in perfect order. Ask Him to heal your eyes so that your whole body will be full of light and the darkness will not steal your life away. And as you seek God first, all these other things will be added to you as well.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~