Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chasing Butterflies

(1 Timothy 6:6 NIV) But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

A few months ago, I watched my daughter, who was then four years old, run behind a duck that had made his way onto the boardwalk at the beach. Of course he didn’t let her latch onto him but it sure was entertaining to watch her try.

This triggered thoughts of all the people and things I’ve pursued in my own life. As a small child I dashed behind butterflies. As a hormone crazed teen, it was boys. In my early twenties, it was the latest trends. After I had my first child, I darted after him.  Most everything I tried to obtain brought a lot of satisfaction that never lasted.

At the ripe age of 33, I found myself empty, broken, and lost.  All the running left my heart invigorated but my soul depleted. On a quest to find what was missing, I soon discovered the only One I needed to chase didn’t need to be caught because He had been with me all my life. We can have everything money can buy with the white picket fence and 2.5 kids and still have an ache from the hollow space within.  That hole can only be filled by obeying and abiding in Jesus Christ. His word says those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. (Matt. 5:6)

Most of us want the same things in life: to find purpose and be happy. The world will promise we will find it by saying things such as do what makes you feel good. Buy the new car. Find love. Travel the world. While these can bring temporary gratification, they will not bring permanent fulfillment. The shiny new car will eventually dull, we’ll find out our significant other is imperfect like us, and our stamped passports will collect dust.

We were created by God and for God and our sole purpose is to glorify Him.  Anything short of that will leave us with an exhausted ego constantly in search for more. Our key verse says: But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it.  Godliness means to be Christ like. When we strive to be more like Him in our thoughts and actions then we are pursuing much more than happiness but rather holiness. When we do, we learn to be content with whatever we have in whatever situation we are in. Contentment in God produces the gain we all want which is joy. Not to be confused with the momentary delight of chasing things like butterflies and BMW's. No, He brings everlasting joy! The kind we get just to be in His presence where at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps. 16:11) 

How many times have you chased someone or something in hopes of finding happiness only to be left with unmet expectations?

Have you asked God to take over your life so you can experience perpetual joy?

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