The Prison of Want

Do you ever find yourself thinking if I just had…fill in the blank… I could be happy? Max Lucado has some fantastic thoughts on the subject. Read on!

The Prison of Want

Come with me to the most populated prison in the world. The facility has more inmates than bunks. More prisoners than plates. More residents than resources.

Come with me to the world’s most oppressive prison. Just ask the inmates; they will tell you. They are overworked and underfed. Their walls are bare and bunks are hard.jail-bars

No prison is so populated, no prison so oppressive, and, what’s more, no prison is so permanent. Most inmates never leave. They never escape. They never get released. They serve a life sentence in this overcrowded, underprovisioned facility.

The name of the prison? You’ll see it over the entrance. Rainbowed over the gate are four cast-iron letters that spell out its name:

W-A-N-T

The prison of want. You’ve seen her prisoners. They are “in want.” They want something. They want something bigger. Nicer. Faster. Thinner. They want.

They don’t want much, mind you. They want just one thing. One new job. One new car. One new house. One new spouse. They don’t want much. They want just one.

And when they have “one,” they will be happy. And they are right — they will be happy. When they have “one,” they will leave the prison. But then it happens. The new-car smell passes. The new job gets old. The neighbors buy a larger television set. The new spouse has bad habits. The sizzle fizzles, and before you know it, another ex-con breaks parole and returns to jail.

Are you in prison? You are if you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less. You are if joy is one delivery away, one transfer away, one award away, or one makeover away. If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink, or digest, then face it — you are in prison, the prison of want.

Paul says that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6 NIV). When we surrender to God the cumbersome sack of discontent, we don’t just give up something; we gain something. God replaces it with a lightweight, tailor-made, sorrow-resistant attaché́ of gratitude.

What will you gain with contentment? You may gain your marriage. You may gain precious hours with your children. You may gain your self-respect. You may gain joy. You may gain the faith to say, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Try saying it slowly. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want”

Again, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Again, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Shhhhhhh. Did you hear something? I think I did. I’m not sure … but I think I heard the opening of a jail door.”

 

(c) 2015 Max Lucado Used with Permission maxlucado.com

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