Growing up, my parents would let me have any shoe I wanted as long as it was less than $25. That was fine for a while, but then I arrived in junior high and Nike introduced the Air Jordan line up. My friends and neighbors got them, but I couldn’t. They were $100, which was considerably more than my $25 limit. I wanted them so badly that I began to put pictures of them in my binders, drew them in my books and had posters on my wall. I thought they were the coolest shoe ever. My parents were teaching me a couple of lessons. The first was to be thankful for what you have even if it’s not what you want. The second was that if you want something more than what you have, save up your money to get it. That created more value in those shoes than if they had been given to me.
In Philippians 4:11, Paul wrote, “For I have learned to be satisfied with what I have” (GNT). That’s a lesson we could all learn. He’s not saying that we shouldn’t ever want more than we have. It’s that we need to learn to be satisfied with what we do have. If we’re constantly looking for something else or wanting more, we will miss the lesson of contentment and fail to be appreciative of what God has given us. When we don’t appreciate something, we don’t value it. If we don’t value it, we take it for granted. God blesses us daily with good things that we look right past because we already want more than the daily bread He’s given us. Paul’s next verse said that whether he had a little or a lot, the secret to life was learning to be content and satisfied.
Ecclesiastes 6:9 put it this way, “It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else.” What blessings have you been overlooking? What are some things you get, but are never enough? A lack of satisfaction or contentment can be an outward expression of an inward brokenness. Once you’ve identified the outward expression, trace it to its roots. Ask God to bring healing to that area and to help you learn to be content with the things you have, whether a little or a lot. Once that change happens in you, the lens that you look at life through will change, and your prayers will too. Start changing them today by thanking Him for the many things He’s already blessed you with instead of asking Him for all the things you don’t have.