I Want What You Have

I want what you have.

No, not your house. Not your income. Not your position in society. Not your fancy vacations or clothes. Not your kids’ college sticker on your car.

Painting of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit

It’s your life.

I want your energy. Your spark. Your enthusiasm for your job, or for decorating your house, or cooking a special meal, or throwing your child’s birthday party.

I Want That

I don’t have it. That’s one of the consequences of coping with depression and anxiety. I’m often so exhausted by the daily effort to hold it together, that I just don’t have any energy leftover to be creative with life. I have to factor in my personal limitations when planning every single event in family life. “Will I be okay?” “Can I handle this?” “Can I be out two nights in a row?” “Am I cheating my children?”

Even fun events cause a kind of stress that can undo me. And sometimes, I resent that I have to live this way.

If you don’t live this way, sometimes, I want your life.

Sometimes, I covet your life.

And That’s Dangerous for Me

Covetousness is what drove Eve to eat from the forbidden tree. It’s what drove Cain to kill Abel.

Want a better visual? It’s what drove Smeagol—from Tolkein’s, The Lord of the Rings—to murder his cousin, take the One Ring, and become Gollum, a slaving, craving, shriveled soul.

Coveting is the deadly appetite that makes me a slave of what God has withheld because I believe it will make me free, fulfilled, significant, or special.

Only, It Won’t

Freedom. Joy. Significance. Only God can give me these. And He only gives them in the experience of knowing, and belonging to, Him. What He withholds, He withholds so that I will learn this. Withholding the forbidden fruit is the only way I’ll learn I don’t need it to be fulfilled. I don’t need the One Ring to be free. I don’t need your life to be significant.

For this, all I truly need is what God has given and promises to give,

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”—Romans 8:32, ESV

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2 thoughts on “I Want What You Have

  1. I was a young teen when I first met you…quietly sitting in a chapel at camp, listening to the beautiful worship music that flowed from your fingers so effortlessly at the piano. I wanted what you had…how I ached and longed to be free from the written notes on a page and to worship in the freedom of playing from your heart. I finally found the courage to approach you and asked you how you learned to do that. You so sweetly welcomed me and shared such a lovely story of your journey of surrender and sacrifice ~ your time of practicing at the piano was a means to deny other fleshly desires. It was something that struck a deep chord with me as a young teen facing similar issues. I’ve never forgotten that conversation, Dawn. I still do not play the piano as effortlessly as you do, but I have learned some of the disciplines that brought you to that place. Thank you for sharing your brokenness with us ~ we are all on this journey of grace, and I am thankful for the little glimpses of His glory in people like you! You are a treasure!

    • Beth, thank you for reading and commenting; it means a lot that you took the time to do both. It sounds like that was a meaningful moment for you and I’m glad I was a part of it, as I have such a deep respect for you. “Surrender and sacrifice”. I love how you put that. As I get older, I see that even the surrender and sacrifice is done by grace because it does not come naturally or easily. Beth, I wish we lived closer together so we could go out for lunch and chat. There’s a wonderful bakery just down the street that serves light lunches and yummy desserts. I would so enjoy taking you there. Blessings, friend.

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