Everybody wants something. Whether desiring wealth, pleasure, power, health, approval, comfort, freedom, or happy love, very few of us would rest content saying that there is nothing that we want. Because to want is to lack. We are all found wanting, because we are all lacking.
The only people that I have heard who sound to be truly content, wanting nothing, are those who have a completely dedicated life to God – along with vows of poverty. That’s right, monks and nuns. (The good ones, anyway. Think of the joy of Saint Therese of Lisieux or even the Dalai Lama.) These are people who put their lives completely into God’s hands and trust. Although they lack luxuries and comforts, worldly success and power, even freedom of choice, they are free from inadequacy. They know that they and their lives, as limited and lacking as they may be, are enough for God. Confessed sinners, they understand that the willingness for goodness is enough – for God supplies love and mercy incessantly. There is never a lack of that. That’s why, when seeking God’s will, one is never found wanting.
So, what does this mean for me in my life as I reflect on the Eve of the Epiphany?
They were overjoyed at seeing the star…
The Magi, known to us as wisemen, sought the King of Kings. We, too, are told to seek Christ: “Seek first the kingdom of God…”. The rest of this line says that all the rest will be given to you – clothing, food, etc.. But, of course, there are those who tirelessly sought the kingdom and even proclaimed it – and who were not only denied clothing and food because of that, but also killed. So… one shouldn’t seek the kingdom of God – one shouldn’t seek to do God’s will and to live a holy life – in order to reap worldly rewards. For one thing, that’s probably not going to happen. (I’m Catholic and we have a lot of Saints to prove that holiness doesn’t usually equal earthly comforts.) What will happen, however, in seeking goodness, in seeking God’s will, is a surrender of fear and distress and an opening of our hearts to divine light and love. True joy.
That’s what we’re told. The truth of it is known only through faith…
… they opened their treasures…
I know this: on becoming a believing Christian (choosing to seek Christ every day) I understood what true love is: Christ in total self-surrender for me and you. And what true happiness is, too.
Although my survival, as I am severely debilitated and weakened by a motor neuron disease, is solely dependent upon other people, my happiness is not. My happiness is also not dependent upon my physical health, strength, and comfort. True happiness is dependent only upon God – who is perfectly dependable. Therefore, true joy is free.
I am free from the desire to be perfect in this life – because I know that I never will be… and God loves me anyway. One might even say that God loves me in a most intimate way because I am a sinner. (And you, too.) Didn’t Christ say that he came for sinners? God became incarnate in order to suffer with us, because we are suffering; to die for us, because we are dying – and to rise up from the dead to eternal life, because we are eternally loved. God became little, lying in that little feeding trough filled with straw, because we are little. Not because we are perfect.
God knows that we are wanting and that is why He became one of us. That is divine love. That is mercy, healing, and redemption. That is Christ… the light of the world that no darkness can overcome.
May I continue to seek Him…
© 2017 Christina Chase
Headings are quotes from Matthew, Chapter 2.
 Matthew 6:33
Although crippled by disease, I am fully alive in love. I write about the profound wonder and terrible beauty of life while living with physical disability and severe dependency. Unafraid to ask life's big questions, I was briefly an atheist and considered other religions before finding, in God's choice to intimately share our humanity, what it truly means to be fully human. A revert to the Catholic Faith, I blog weekly and have written a book called It's Good to Be Here.