In my last post, “7 Steps to Recovery from Major Disruptions in Life,” I quoted from Proverbs 15:15. Today, I ran across that passage, augmented by the two successive verses, from the New Living Translation giving it a new twist:
Proverbs 15:15-17 15 For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. 16 Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil. 17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
These are intriguing maxims. Diane Eble gave words of encouragement on this passage: “These verses suggest that true wealth is primarily an inward state, not an outward one. A person with a happy, appreciative heart experiences life as “a continual feast,” for he or she always recognizes the gifts God gives. Knowing God and having little is better than having a lot yet not inner peace. Sharing a humble meal with someone you love is better than a feast with someone you hate because relationships are what matter. If you want to be truly rich, focus on your heart. Walk with God, and make love your guide.”
I appreciate the comparison of sharing a simple vegetarian meal with a friend versus a fancy steak dinner with someone who is not on the same page we are. What pleasure is there in that?
Having just finished a modest veggie meal with a good friend who walks a path with similarities to mine, I find her insights help me to see my path more clearly and, I hope my experiences bring some promise to her. We discussed how we did not wish for or want our current condition. There was a time when we longed to turn back the clock to the “safe” former time, but God has called us to a new life — one with joy and fulfillment more than we could ever have imagined. It is his desire we live enriching, full lives. In fact, initially, the more encumbered we are with difficulties, the more we can focus on the essentials of God’s purpose for our lives, leading to a happier, simpler, richer life.
Has pain brought you to greater joy?