What Every Heart Wants – Just Enough

I’ve heard that stress levels and depression reach an all time high around the holidays.

Maybe it’s Rockwell-itis.

I’m referring to the unrealistic expectations we put on each other to live up to idealized fantasies of perfection ala this famous Norman Rockwell painting we’ve all admired over the years.

This was part of a series of paintings inspired by a speech that President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to Congress in 1941. It was before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into WWII when he outlined these four basic human rights — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear and freedom from want.

The piece above first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1943 at the height of the war and was met with instant popularity.

Not surprising because, isn’t that what we all want?  “Freedom From Want?”

Unfortunately, we sometimes become so consumed with filling our wants, that we forget what we really need. And deep down we know there’s no amount of stuff…or stuffing…(sorry, I couldn’t resist) that can make this longing go away.

In fairness, I don’t think Rockwell was trying to perpetuate the myth of perfection. He once said, “I paint life as I would like it to be.” 

And when I look at that picture, you know what I see? I see simplicity. Contentment. I see, not excess, but needs met in a room full of smiling faces.

Life, as I would like it to be.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” That’s how Jesus taught us to pray.

Give us just enough so that we don’t get to feeling arrogant or entitled.

Just enough so that we appreciate our blessings for what they are.

Gifts from God.

This Thanksgiving, I hope that you will find less stress as you enjoy more of Jesus.

And may you find yourself sitting at a table of just enough, where there’s plenty of happy to go around.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19


 

The Metamorphosis of Hope

I opened the envelope. The one that had flown over wind and waves to land in my mailbox. Sometimes it takes a letter from a young boy half a world away to reacquaint you with the dreams you had when you were just starting out in life. Reminding you of your own “hopes for the future” and how it felt to live in that cocoon of childhood expectancy.

FindingTheInspiring.com

FindingTheInspiring.com

Hope.

Here’s how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word:

“to cherish a desire with anticipation”

FindingTheInspiring.com

FindingTheInspiring.com

But anticipation can start to wane as you age. Because when you grow up, sometimes you get let down. And the future you hoped for looks more and more hopeless.

Until

Until you discover that things are not always as they appear. That the dream God birthed within you still lives.

And even though it may look different than you imagined, it is far better and much more beautiful when it emerges as he wills it, in his timing.

But now we have a far better hope, for Christ makes us acceptable to God, and now we may draw near to him. Hebrews 7:19

 

Hope.

Here’s the Holman Bible Dictionary definition:

“trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises”

The first thing I remember saying I wanted to be when I grew up was a paleontologist. But today, instead of digging up fossils, I am unearthing discoveries of a different sort. Finding inspiration within the hidden treasures of God’s Word and in the world around me.

Perhaps this little one will grow up to be a the doctor he sees in his dreams. Maybe he will be the sort of physician Jesus was, healing sick souls as well as sick bodies.

Either way, he will not be disappointed, as long as his ultimate hope is in the Lord. As long as he puts his trust in the Hope-giver.

And this is what I write back. My prayer for him. For all of us:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Overflowing hope. That’s what everyone needs. And that’s what any one of us can give to a child in poverty today. If you haven’t yet, please click here to read about Compassion’s sponsorship program. Because we are all in the middle of a metamorphosis. And as Christ changes us, we can be catalysts of positive change in the world.

Over the wind and waves, the wings of hope are ever-unfolding.