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When Little is Much

Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.

Proverbs 15:16 (NIV)

I had a friend in grad school who came from a rather wealthy family. I’ll call him Howard, because, to middle class me, he may as well have been Howard Hughes. His parents had a cabin in the mountains and a cottage on the beach, plus a large home in a gated community. Yet my friend often spoke of his family’s unhappiness.

Howard’s father was a workaholic attorney. His mother was an alcoholic socialite. He and his three siblings lacked nothing, yet fought over everything. I’m talking knock down, drag out, hair pulling fights! Christmas at Howard’s house meant rooms full of presents but little love.

One such winter break, I invited my friend to spend part of the holiday with me at my parent’s modest home. Mom and dad were both teachers, so I wondered what Howard would think of our rather simple lifestyle. But he didn’t seem to mind.

When we took a side trip to my grandparent’s little farm, my well-heeled companion acted like he’d gone to heaven! As we walked along a tree-lined creek I commented, “Though we come from much different backgrounds, you’ve never looked down on me Howard.” “How could I?” he said. “You have the life I’ve always wanted.”

Kind reader, like me do you sometimes long for more? I was awed by Howard’s pedigree and family wealth, yet his heart ached for a life like mine–one filled with God’s love. Today, and every day, may we remember the secret of contentment in all circumstances: “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”–Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

Photo by Gary Fultz on Unsplash

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

45 replies on “When Little is Much”

Good point, Pete. Paul learned contentment, but at great cost to his own comfort and safety. Yet, being on assignment for God made up for it all. Thank you reading and commenting. God Bless!

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How true. I’d totally forgotten that Philippians is one of Paul’s “prison epistles.” He was far from his privileged Pharisee days when he wrote that letter to the church at Philippi. Someone at church shared about Ukrainians who’ve had to flee their homes because of war. We aren’t having to do that either. Thanks for stopping by today!

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Great Post. Things are not always as they seem.. I believe it was Paul that said “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.” We all should just be grateful and thankful for what the Lord has blessed us with. I was just speaking with a friend yesterday about not being thankful enough. Blessings and Peace!

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Thanks for reading and commenting, Simply B. You are not alone in being knocked off the “follower wagon.” It seems that the WP interface sometimes unfollows people for us and it also makes them hard to follow at all. I received a notice, however, that you are getting updates from me again. I appreciate your perseverance! I usually post once a week on Saturday mornings. God’s best to you and yours.

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What a wonderful post! I love that Howard said “You have the life I’ve always wanted.” A simple life lived for Christ speaks without saying a word. Sounds like that’s what your family did for Howard. In an unrelated note, for some reason I’m no longer getting email notifications of blogs I’m following. Boo! I can’t see anything that I need to change, but I’m not the brightest star in the WordPress sky. Anyway, so glad I looked at the Reader to see what I’ve missed! Blessings to you and yours.

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We are encouraged to judge ourselves by the world’s standards – by how wealthy we are, the kinds of activities we do, the clothes we wear etc etc. But as soon as bump up against genuine love and contentment, the scales fall from our eyes. Those are things that money can’t buy; and, deep down inside, we know these are things that really matter in life.

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David, your story of your friend, reminds me that money cannot buy happiness. We can substitute money for relationship with Jesus but it does not satisfy. Things can never give us love and acceptance as Jesus does! Blessings!

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We adults struggle with the same thing: more, more, MORE! How ironic that less is often best. Thank you for sharing more about your squirrel friend. Our Schnauzer has a similar love/hate relationship with the cat next door.

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Great story and illustration David. When I worked with at risk youth I saw so much of that. I guess it’s a temptation to look over the fence at every stage of life.
The squirrel, by the way loves our deck. He will put his paws against the patio window to either get in or torment the dog who throws himself against the patio door to get at the squirrel. Someday I may need to replace a window just because of a squirrel and dog wanting to be on opposite sides of the glass.

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A beautiful post, David. I hope your friend made a better life for himself. My mom sometimes said, “Money does funny things to people.” And I would have to agree – for most people. Your post made me think of Matthew 6:19-20. (Full disclosure – I had to look it up.)

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Indeed, CG. Ours is increasingly a culture of comparison. And “Madison Avenue” knows this too well. As you said, it is best to bloom where God has planted us. Little or much, it is His presence and blessings that matter most. Thank you for reading and commenting. God Bless.

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Seems the world is constantly bombarding us with reasons not to be content, giving us false promises and false hope in things they claim will satisfy A good reminder to find contentment with where God has placed us and with what he has blessed us with.

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Wow, what a story! As you explained Howard’s home life, I felt sad for him. Such a perfect example of how money cannot buy happiness. One thing I try to remember to remind myself at times is that I have Jesus and Jesus is enough. ✝️🙌

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