“You must not covet your neighbor’s house … or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17 NLT)
One spring, the neighbours down the street were having a swimming pool built. The tiny village of New Denver, British Columbia, Canada, where we lived, lay nestled on the shores of the deep and clear Slocan Lake, where we could swim anytime we wanted during the summer. But imagine being able to go for a swim right from your own front door! No one else in the village had a swimming pool. I was green with envy.
Soon, a white, semi-domed structure loomed up at our neighbours’ house. I could hardly wait to have a chance to peek inside it. Finally, the neighbours invited us over to show off their new pool. It was like stepping into the warm, moist atmosphere of a greenhouse. The translucent plastic that covered the ceiling and walls diffused the sunshine, enveloping the interior with a soft, ethereal glow. I dipped my hand into the clear water. Yes, it was warm! The pièce de résistance, however, was a vine in the corner with cucumbers growing on it! I could hardly take it all in, it was so perfect.
“We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11:5-6 NLT)
In the middle of the night, as I was thinking about that swimming pool, God reminded me of the cucumber vine in it. I almost laughed out loud. I had been so focused on what I didn’t have, actually coveting something, that I had forgotten to focus on the amazing things that God was doing. God had led us in miraculous ways, and our family was on the brink of the greatest adventure of our lives. In a couple of months, we would be going to Czechoslovakia to help a pastor start a Christian school. God wanted us to follow Him, rather than living a life of ease. Instantly, I felt better about the swimming pool.
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (1 John 2:15-17 NLT)
It’s not wrong to want certain things, but let’s not be dissatisfied with what we don’t have, and remember the wonderful things that God has given us. Let’s do the things that please Him.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You have given us so many gifts — life, food, health, work, and friends. Help us to be grateful for these things and not to be discontented with what we don’t have. You know us well, and You know what we need. Help us to focus on You, and not on the things of this world. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Alice Burnett <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission