The other day I was in the mall and I saw a cute outfit. Suddenly I wanted it. I wanted it so strongly, I was taken aback by the raging, demanding lust that surfaced in myself. "It's just a cute outfit," I thought. "Where is all this coming from?"
Then last weekend I went to a wedding where I saw a bunch of my old friends. I was smitten afterward when I realized that I had expressed ungratefulness to just about every person I talked with. People would ask me where I was in life and what I was doing these days, and invariably, I would throw in some comment about how I was poor, or how I didn't really like my job, or life just wasn't going the way I wanted it to.
"Somehow, covetousness has really taken hold of me," I realized. "I want more money, a better job, nicer clothes...and I'm not content with what I have." So I repented before the Lord and asked His forgiveness.
Beyond that, there is a cure: Thanksgiving and praise.
Therefore, let me express my sincerest praise to God for all the undeserved blessings that He has bestowed upon me.
Lord, I praise You for this season of poverty. You have allowed me to go through it, and I accept it from your hand, knowing that You have ordained it for good. Besides, I am truly rich. In the first place, I am rich because I have You. You are my portion and my inheritance, and You alone are enough to satisfy the deepest desires of my heart. In the second place, I am fabulously wealthy compared to most of the world. I have a computer, a printer, a CD player, a sewing machine, a car, a closet full of clothes, shelves full of books, a room to myself, and innumerable comforts and luxuries that most people would only dream of having.
I praise you for the job you have given me. I thank you for the experiences I have been able to have through this work. I will be content with the paycheck you have provided for me, whether or not you ever open up the door for me to make more money. You, O Lord, are my provider, and it is You who gives me the power to earn money.
Thank you, Lord, for the unnamed person in my life who hurts me. Will you bless that person, Lord, with abundant grace and boundless mercy? Bestow them with patience, gentleness, and love. Let them walk in truth. Fill them with Your Holy Spirit and let them walk in Your light. I thank you for the very hurts themselves. What an unprecedented opportunity to learn forgiveness, to find Your grace sufficient even in the midst of pain, to overcome by faith and return good for evil. They have deepened my heart and made me more able to relate to others' pain.
I praise You, O my God, for the fact that I am waiting right now. Thank you for not moving ahead. Thank you for not being in a hurry. Thank you for keeping me sitting still, ever so deftly, ever so cleverly, even when I am trying to squirm away and make things happen for myself. Thank you for not letting my ways work out. Thank you for teaching me to wait upon the Lord, and letting me find that indeed I do renew my strength. Thank you for the patience that comes with it. Thank you for the very uncertainty that I face. I praise You that You do know exactly what way I should take.
Thank You, Lord, for being the sovereign God. It is all about You, not about me. I release my way to you. I don't have what I want anymore. It's all what You want. Keep me faithful to walk with you in Your will and in Your way.
In Jesus's Name, Amen