"Give me enough food to live on,
neither too much nor too little.
If I'm too full, I might get independent,
saying, 'God? Who needs him?'
If I'm poor, I might steal
and dishonor the name of my God."
-Prov. 30:8-9 (The Message)
I first memorized this verse when I was in college and felt discontent with the small amount of money I had. Upon reading this, I came to the realization that not being rich was actually keeping me from a pretty selfish lifestyle. Don't get me wrong - I know people who can handle being wealthy without it affecting them negatively and actually use their wealth for the good of others. But unfortunately, I'm quite certain that if I were ever blessed with fortune, I would turn into a self-centered, greedy, brat. The same thing goes for fame - rather than be level-headed about it, I'd probably be a narcissistic jerk. So if you want to keep me as lovable as I am, pray with me that I never experience fame or fortune (and that I maintain my delightful, self-deprecating sense of humor.) And no, I'm not looking for any of you to affirm me and tell me you think I'd handle it well - I know myself better than you do. :) I'm really being honest.
Lately I've been thinking about how this verse can apply to all aspects of life. Lord, keep me from becoming too smart. Lord, keep me from becoming too thin. Lord, keep my blog from becoming too popular. (Seriously, we'd have an egomaniac on our hands.) If I'm too smart I might think I am above those who aren't as "educated" as I am. If I'm too thin, I might think that somehow a smaller size makes me more attractive or more of an ideal woman than others. If my marriage is too perfect, I might start thinking I only need to connect with my husband, rather than with God.
It seems more and more clear that by preventing things in my life from being perfect and easy, God is actually enabling me to learn to depend on Him. When I'm stressed or overwhelmed or hurting...I desperately need God. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalms 34:18). I know it's odd, but it is when I'm facing a lot of pain in my life that I feel the strongest connection to my heavenly Father. If I had no hard times, I wouldn't need him or his love.
Do I really want a perfect life? Do I really want everything to come easily to me? Well...to be honest... yes...but not if the price I had to pay was my relationship with Jesus. So for that reason, I want to be thankful that I'm not rich, that I make silly grammar mistakes in my blogs (I hate that), and that no matter how healthy I eat I'll still have a flabby belly. My imperfections make me real and my struggles and hurts allow me to sympathize with others and show deeper compassion.
So here's my prayer:
God...give me enough sunshine and love and talent and joy to live on,
Neither too much nor too little.
If I'm too perfect, or have too perfect of a life, I might get independent
and think stupidly that I don't need you (or forget that all my blessings are from you).
If I'm seriously lacking, I might get mad at you (which I know you can handle)
and I might be really jealous of others (which I often am)
and act in a way that's not glorifying to you. And that would suck.