Fence Jumping

December 12, 2003
by Lynne Phipps

2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (NIV)

We once had a dog that always had to go over the fence! Sarah was never content with the space at hand, even though she had ten acres where she could run and romp and play.

At the time, we were also running an adoption kennel, and thus would often have eight to twelve or more dogs out running in the fields for exercise. None of them had any inclination to go over the fence; they seemed more than content to enjoy what had been given — but not Sarah. In fact, rather than enjoy what was available and what had been provided, she spent the majority of her time walking along the fence line looking for a low spot to jump over. By doing so, she not only missed out on the companionship and enjoyment the other dogs were having, but she also ended up discontent after exercise time was over.

Likewise, we human beings can, if we are not careful, fall into this habit of being discontent with what we have. Instead of thanking God in all circumstances, and praising Him for the provision He has given, we can fall prey to that jumping over the fence mentality, always longing for and yearning after what we think we deserve or would like.

As Christmas approaches, jumping over the fence mentality can become more and more tempting, as our eyes are wooed by all the wonderful new gadgets, clothes, decorations, and technical bells and whistles that are being advertised. How easy it is to begin "oooohhhhing" and "aaaahhhhing" over all the gifts available that we might like either to buy for ourselves or to have others purchase for us! In fact we can become so caught up in this mental exercise of fence-jumping — longing after everything that we want, instead of being content with what we have or are given — that we can not only lose out on the enjoyment and fellowship that the season inevitably brings, but we can also easily forget the most important gift of all, Jesus.

Now isn't He something to really "oooohhhh" and "aaaahhhh" about!

Prayer: Father God, thank You so much for all You have blessed us and provided us with. Help us as Your children to be different than the world when it comes to Christmas. Encourage us daily to focus on the best Christmas gift of all, Jesus, for in Him, and in Him only, will we discover true contentment and fulfillment this Christmas season, and the whole year through. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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