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)