DayBreaks for 7/16/18: In the House of the Tiger
From the DayBreaks archive, July 2008:
It was just about two weeks ago that I was sent some pictures of an incredible home on the shore by the ocean. I mean, this was a palace! Spectacular. Mesmerizing. Indescribable. And I must admit, there was something that was stirred deep inside me as I sit here in my little office in our little home (1264 square feet, or so I’m told) that made envy rise in me like a cobra ready to strike. I thought to myself, “Wow. I’d love to have a place like that!” But that wasn’t the envy part – the envy part came when I began to think, “It’s not fair that they should have a home like that! The probably don’t even know the Lord. Why did they get blessed like that while I’m sitting out the California summer in a home that’s not even air conditioned?!” Envy is subtle, and deadly, indeed.
It just so happens that the home I became envious of is apparently the home of Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin. (And yes, I am envious of Tiger’s golf game, too!) Every now and then, I’ll receive something like that in email – it may be Tiger’s house, or the home of the Sultan of Brunei or some other incredible place, and I feel badly. I feel badly that I can’t give my wife a home like that (along with the requisite helpers to take care of the place, of course). I start to think how wonderful it would be to have the use of such a place for even one night. But in reality, I know that would only make me long for it even more.
I shouldn’t worship houses. I shouldn’t worship golf swings. But there’s a part of me that does, God have mercy on me and forgive me, please!
I know that I’m not alone. But what can help me get past such longings? There’s a passage that I try to remind myself of when I start to envy others: (Ps. 73:3-17, NIV) – For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?” This is what the wicked are like — always carefree, they increase in wealth. Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
Please understand: I don’t know Tiger and Elin personally, and I am not saying that they are evil or wicked. They may know Christ as their Savior – in point of fact, I hope and pray that they do. The point remains: when I enter the sanctuary of God, I understand not only their final destiny, but mine. We are on equal terms. And, even if they do know God, my mansion in heaven will make their earthly home look like a pile of refuse. God has already promised that to us. All I have to do is wait for that (and I do understand that the greatest blessings in heaven will not be material ones at all!)
Remember the final destiny, and rejoice, “for great is your reward in heaven!”
PRAYER: Forgive my heart, Lord, for its envy. Let me remain always in your sanctuary so I never lose sight of final destinies. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.