Friday, September 19, 2008

What's the real issue here?

I have noticed something since getting married, money, or lack there of, really allows heart sin to rise to the surface. Money has a way of making things easier, happier, and covering those things that we don't want to deal with. Take the money away, and I am forced to face my issues. Money has a way of padding the real issues. Making life a little more comfy.

It's no secret that, for us, money is scarce these days. Thankfully, one of the reasons it is so scarce is because we are (finally) getting responsible with our spending and realizing what we can and can't afford. And in the process, I am being broken, and (please God) changed.

I am currently reading A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God, and in his book he writes,

There is within the human heart a tough, fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always possess. It covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution, (30-31).

Well, there you have it, folks, the state of my heart. Always wanting to possess things. Always looking for what will be most comfortable. Willing to do whatever it takes to be comfortable. ALWAYS forgetting that it is God, and God only, that completes me, fills that longing, that God-shaped hole. This week as Ada and I spent lots of time at home, unable to run to the store for this or that, unable to drive through Sonic for a quick diet coke to get me through the afternoon, I was forced to really evaluate what my needs are. And, wow, are my needs met. If we are only talking about needs, well, my cup runneth over!! My pantry is stocked full of good, healthy food. I have a closet full of clothing. I have a comfortable home. And yesterday, Ada and I headed out for a walk to "town" to buy a diet coke. I am healthy, with two working legs, that can get me where I need to go. I tend to have such a distorted view of what I really, really need. Oh, Lord, please change me. Give me a glimpse of the wealth that I possess.

Yes, I am learning to be frugal out of necessity, but I pray that the changes that I am making will always be around, even years down the road when Lord willing, money isn't quite so scarce. I am reminded that God works all things for my good. And by good, I think he means, he works all things together to sanctify me. Because that is my ultimate good--sanctification--a life that glorifies him. So, he uses these little insignificant things, like no gas money or not shopping at the stores I want to shop at, to create in me a heart that glorifies him.


Elizabeth said...

That's good. I've got that book, I've read it - Pursuit of God - I need to wallpaper my house in those words you quoted.


Elizabeth said...

That's good. I have that book - and I've read it. I need to wallpaper my house in those words you quoted. - in very large letters I need to do it.


The Murphrees said...

Hey Laura Beth, I will definitely get that picture to you. I am sorry I have not already done so. We also ended up with the glass cups that Sheffer gave to Scott. Hopefully, we can see you guys soon and get them to you. But don't worry the picture will come sooner.
On a side note from your blog. I completely understand. We are doing Dave Ramsey as well and sticking to every area of the budget can be hard. It definitely takes strength from God and makes you realize all the things we have already and yet we still want more. So a word of encouragement...keep pressing on!

Amanda said...

Great thoughts about underlying issues. I think that being financially responsible is such a marriage builder. Where as lack of responsibility is a marriage destroyer (#1 reason for divorce). No matter what "method" your use (Dave, personal financial methods, etc) communicating and working together as a team is hard but so healthy. I know we have learned so much from each other from working on this house. And not just from "picking out details and design" but more importantly from sitting together and hashing out the details of limited funding we have for remodel. Great thoughts! Sounds like yall are learning so much!

John, Jessica, Hannah, and Grant Harman said...

Very well put Laura Beth. I am learning the same things these days and it is encouraging to be reminded how our deepest need, reconcilation with God, is met through Christ. IF the Lord has met that need, of course He will meet those lesser needs..maybe not how we intended but oh how He does meet them. And how quickly I forget that. I should have a heart that overflows with thanksgiving for the abundace of blessings we have. Thank you for your encouragement!