All that you have may be more than enough.
by Cindi McMenamin
I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE DAY I picked up my daughter from her high school on the last day before her Christmas break.
Dana was complaining to me of all the things her friends had that she didn’t: new cars driven by her 16-year-old friends who just got their driver’s licenses, expensive homes with more rooms than their families needed, the latest electronic gadgets, the fanciest clothes, the highest-priced handbags and shoes.
“We’ll probably have nothing under our Christmas tree this year,” she said, in the most ungrateful tone I’d ever heard.
Weary of constantly being reminded of what we didn’t have that her friends’ families did, and appalled at her ungrateful attitude, I finally blew!
“These are hard times we’re living in, Dana! Do you realize what we do have?” I snapped. “You have a roof over your head and these days, that should be enough!”
Apparently, I had just struck a chord with her. Her face fell and she sadly told me of another one of her friends who was losing her home due to her parents’ debt and job loss.
Immediately, my tone softened as I realized my daughter had already been convicted by her own words. “Let’s pray for them right now,” I said. After we prayed, I silently asked God for wisdom to turn that topic into a teaching moment.
“You know, sweetie,” I said, “a lot of people around us are losing their homes and will soon have even less than we do. That’s why it’s important for us to not only think about what we have and be grateful for it, but to focus on what we have that we will never lose.”
She looked at me for a moment. And then she got it.
We immediately began to recount all that we have that can never be taken from us:
- The love we have for one another in our family.
- The memories we’ve had in our condo (and the small house we owned before we moved to California).
- The unconditional love of God (see Romans 5:8).
- The gift of our salvation (see Ephesians 2:8-9).
- A promised mansion in eternity — that’s way bigger than the houses any of her friends live in (see John 14:2-3).
Find Your Joyful Sound
I realized that day that my daughter isn’t the only one who often wishes she had more. It’s easy for me, at times, to look at what others have and be envious. It’s natural for me, especially at Christmas, to wish we had a little more money to spend on others and ourselves. But so often I forget all we do have… and that it’s more than enough.
This Christmas, I’m remembering I have a God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (see Psalm 50:10), and nothing is too far out of His reach when it comes to providing for us. I’m also remembering I have a God who has gone away to prepare a place for us and who will come again and receive us to Himself so that where He is, we will be — forever (see John 14:3).
This Christmas, I’m remembering the joyful sound.
Psalm 89:15 says, “Happy are the people who know the joyful shout; Yahweh, they walk in the light of Your presence.”
What is your joyful “shout” or sound this Christmas? The “Glory to God in the highest heaven” that the angels sang to the shepherds when they declared the Savior had been born? The sound of Christ’s words “It is finished!” when it comes to the debt you owed that Christ has paid on your behalf? Maybe it’s the blessings He is allowing you to experience right now: The sound of your child’s or grandchild’s voice. The hum of noisy chatter in your living room as you share a holiday meal together. The sounds of the season that remind you that you really do have more than enough.
Find your joyful sound this Christmas… and make a joyful sound to the One who has blessed you beyond what you will ever have on this earth. These aren’t hard times we’re living in, after all. These are blessed times.
Cindi McMenamin is a wife, mom, national speaker, and author of several books, including When Couples Walk Together, When God Sees Your Tears, and her most recent, 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom. For more on Cindi’s books and ministry, or to download free articles of encouragement to strengthen your marriage, parenting, or individual walk with God, see her website: StrengthForTheSoul.com.
This article originally appeared in HomeLife magazine (December 2016). For more articles like this, subscribe to HomeLife.