by Rev Steve Nickodemus
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
1 Timothy 6:8
What does it take to make a hippo happy? From my observations of these two behemoths, at the Saint Louis Zoo, not much. All it takes to make a hippo happy is a warm sunny day, and a green pool of water.
What does it take to make you happy? From my observations of human nature around me, quite a bit. If everyone is nice to me, if I have the latest smart phone, if I like my job, if I feel good about my body, if my hair looks just right, if I win the lottery, if my son gets on the starting team, if I live in a nice house, if I drive a nice car, if my pastor preaches a great sermon…. That is a lot of ifs, and I am barely getting started with human wants and desires. For if happiness is dependent on everything being just right, you are never going to be happy.
Paul, speaking to Timothy, explains that you have brought nothing into this world and you will take nothing out of it. If you have food and covering, with these you shall be content. Once you understand that God doesn’t owe you a perfect happy life, in fact that the only thing you really deserve is eternal death, then your happiness quotient changes considerably.
For God did not give us what we deserve, but instead He gave us mercy. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, and when you stop and consider that all of these “happiness criteria” go away. If I get how much God loves me then life gets a lot simpler, and I get a lot more content.
Perhaps I can learn something from a couple of chubby hippos. If I have Jesus, and my daily bread, that is more than enough, and if I have a tub of water and a sunny day, “Hey, let’s party!”
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado