DayBreaks for 5/08/19: Settling for Lesser Things
From the DayBreaks archive: May 2009
We have all at one time or another had to “settle” for less than we wanted or hoped for. As a child, it may have been settling for a cookie instead of a full-blown banana split. As a teenager, it might be something like settling for an iPod Nano instead of a full-blown iPod. As an adult, perhaps you’ve had to settle for a two bedroom apartment instead of a 10 bedroom, 5 bath, 3 car garage home with a pool and built in bowling alley. We all have had to settle for lesser things.
And even though we’re had to do it many times, it doesn’t mean we like it. We still have the desire for more and bigger and better. But we seldom get all that we’d really like to have.
Consider this story, told by Skye Jethani in his book, The Divine Commodity, (copyright 2009, pg. 113), about a trip he took to India with his father. While walking the streets of New Delhi, a little boy approached them. He was “skinny as a rail, and naked but for tattered blue shorts. His legs were stiff and contorted, like a wire hanger twisted upon itself.” Because of his condition, the little boy could only waddle along on his calloused knees. He made his way toward Skye and his father and cried out, “One rupee, please! One rupee!” Skye describes what happened when his father eventually responded to the boy’s persistent begging:
“What do you want?” [my father asked].
“One rupee, sir,” the boy said while motioning his hand to his mouth and bowing his head in deference. My father laughed.
“How about I give you five rupees?” he said. The boy’s submissive countenance suddenly became defiant. He retracted his hand and sneered at us. He thought my father was joking, having a laugh at his expense. After all, no one would willingly give up five rupees. The boy started shuffling away, mumbling curses under his breath.
“My father reached into his pocket. Hearing the coins jingle, the boy stopped and looked back over his shoulder. My father was holding out a five-rupee coin. He approached the stunned boy and placed the coin into his hand. The boy didn’t move or say a word. He just stared at the coin in his hand. We passed him and proceeded to cross the street.
“A moment later the shouting resumed, except this time the boy was yelling, “Thank you! Thank you, sir! Bless you!” He raced after us once again—but not for more money but to touch my father’s feet.
This, I imagine, is how our God sees us—as miserable creatures in desperate need of his help. But rather than asking for what we truly need, rather than desiring what he is able and willing to give, we settle for lesser things.”
Sometimes we need to learn to be content with lesser things, trusting that God in His wisdom knows what is best for us to have – and what is best for us not to have. But we can fall into the trap of settling for too little when God wants so much for us: Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. (Ephesians 3:20, NLT) In context, Paul is talking about us being spiritual empowered. What does that mean? Let me put it this way: how easily do I give up when that old temptation comes a knockin’ on my door? I’ve convinced myself that that old trickster the devil will never leave me alone, that I will never be free from that particular sin/temptation. But God is able to give you and me power that we cannot even conceive of. In fact, He’s already given us “all we need for life and godliness.” He’s given us the power of the Spirit that hovered over the face of the deep and brought order out of chaos.
If the Spirit could bring order out of the material chaos, how much more can He bring order out of the chaos of our lives…as long as we don’t settle for lesser things.
Prayer: God, teach us to be content with what You give us, but to never be content with our spiritual progress! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>