“Look at all this stuff I got!” I said with a self-satisfied smile while displaying the clothes and shoes I’d bought from T. J. Maxx to my husband. I was excited about all the great deals I’d scored.
A few days went by. I found myself obsessing about clothes I’d seen at that store and still wanted to buy. I’d restrained myself the first time. They were things I liked for myself, but not necessarily needed. If I’d purchased everything I wanted, my bill would have been too big for our budget! But every item was such a great deal! Wouldn’t it be prudent to make the purchases now? What if I waited and then they weren’t around anymore?
Driving back to that same store a week later, I was almost relieved when I could no longer find the things that had caught my eye earlier. Relieved that the temptation to make a choice was gone. Relieved to discover that by not finding these items, I was suddenly free from thinking about them anymore.
The fact is I always want more: more books, music, clothes, camera lenses, and Starbucks. The more I get the more I want. Sometimes what I want isn’t just material items but better circumstances, like perfect kids and a comfortable life. I know intellectually that material items and perfect circumstances are not ultimately satisfying, but part of me always wants something that I don’t have—like an iPhone—for instance. And this part of me wars against the other side of me that longs to be content in simple daily living, happy with what I have.
I have to ask myself, How much is enough? Will I ever be satisfied, free from the never-ending longing for more?
Left to myself, there never would be a limit to my desires. But God’s Word reminds me that through His grace and power, I can grow in being freed from always wanting more. I can trade stuff for satisfaction; satisfaction in the One who is truly more than enough.
When I wake up each day I need to be reminded that I need God more than stuff or perfect circumstances. I really do know that deep down. No matter what painful trial I have faced or will face, no matter how much I gain or how much is stripped away, I want God to be enough to surpass it. It’s a longing that goes beyond all my other longings. God’s been building in me for the past several years an intense desire to find “enough” in Him alone. I want to be able to say with that Chris Tomlin song:
All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough
Or like the Psalmist who said in Psalm 42:1, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” But the fact is I don’t always live that way, despite my desires. No, sometimes I get caught up in wanting to buy more stuff at T.J. Maxx.
Despite my failings, God is good to use such moments in my life to reorient me back to finding my satisfaction in Him. Recently, while reading Lord, Give Me a Heart for You by Kay Arthur I was reminded that, “You are a vessel made to contain God, and until you contain Him, you’ll never find fulfillment, satisfaction. For none can satisfy except God.” That’s not just true for salvation, but every day after, so I’ve found. But I forget. I have to constantly be reminded.
I’m glad that there will be a day I won’t have to be reminded anymore. The struggle to find “enough” in God will finally be over. It will be a reality. As Paul David Tripp reminds me in Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy:
There will be a day when we will be satisfied. There will be a time when what God has given us will be enough. There will be a moment when we will all be so satiated by the presence and glory of the Lord that we will finally be free from the desire for more. May each day be a step toward satisfaction…. May we say with joy and integrity of heart, “He is enough.”
I look forward to that day. But for now, I’m taking steps. By spending time in God’s Word and in prayer, I grow in the desire to find “enough” in Him, not in the next store I walk into. And I’m finding this to be my prayer: that each day will be a step toward satisfaction in God. He is more than enough.