As we drove home from a store, my teenage daughter was complaining to me about all the things her friends had that she didn’t – new cars driven by her friends who just got their driver’s licenses, expansive homes with more rooms than their families needed, the latest electronic gadgets, the fanciest clothes, the highest-priced handbags.

Weary of constantly being reminded of what we didn’t  have that her friends’ families did, I finally blew!  

“Do you realize what we do have?” I snapped.  “You have a roof over your head and these days, that should be enough!”

I didn’t know I had just struck a chord with her. Her face fell and she sadly told me of another one of her friends who was losing her home due to debt and a parent’s job loss.  

Immediately my tone softened as I realized my daughter had already been convicted by her own words. We prayed for the family that was losing their home and then I silently prayed for wisdom to turn that topic into a teaching moment.

“You know, Sweetie,” I told her softly, as I continued to drive: “a lot of people around us are losing their homes. That’s why it’s important for us to not only think about what we have and be grateful for it, but to focus on what we have that we will never lose.”

She looked at me for a moment. And then she got it.

We took turns recounting all that we have that can never be taken from us:

  • The love we have from one another in our family
  • The memories we’ve had in our small, three-bedroom condo
  • The vacations we’ve been able to take because of God’s grace and provision
  • The gift of our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • The unconditional love of God (Romans 5:8)
  • A promised mansion in Eternity  that will outdo anything we could ever buy on this earth! (John 14:2-3)

I realized that day that my daughter is not the only one who often wishes she had more. It’s easy for me, at times, to look at what others have and be envious. It’s natural for me to sometimes wish I had a little more extra money to indulge in my desires. But so often I forget all I do have…and that it is more than enough.

So often we go through life looking at what others have and wondering when our ship will come in. Then we remember we have a God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10),  a God who promises to supply all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19), and  a God who has gone to prepare an unfathomable place for us to live with Him someday (John 14:3).

In Psalm 4, David the Psalmist was asking God for relief from his distresses. Life looked bleak for Him and He was, like we often do, questioning if God noticed and would respond. But then David  must have remembered all that he had in his relationship with God, because he finished his prayer with a song of perspective and joy:  

“You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  (Psalms 4:7-8)

In another translation, that verse sounds like a song I should be singing every day that I begin to forget my blessings and long for more: