[I hope you enjoy a merry Christmas. I am repeating the second most popular post of this series. I first wrote it in November of 2010.]
Take a glass. Put it in a bowl. Take a water pitcher. Fill it with water. Pour water from the pitcher into the glass until the glass overflows with water. Let the over flow fill the bowl. Drink water until your thirst is quenched. If you drain the glass and are still thirsty, fill it again from the pitcher.
After your thirst is quenched, pour water from the overflow (in the bowl) into the glass. Chances are, the overflow will not satisfy like that first drink did from the pitcher.
The gap between having a need and satisfying it can be great. Meeting that need can be a very fulfilling experience—maybe even a very happy one.
Once that need is met, the gap between satisfying a need and receiving emotional blessing is small, maybe even miniscule. You can keep drinking water from the overflow, but it is not going to be an immensely fulfilling experience. (Filling, yes, but not FULfilling.) It will not add greatly to your happiness. It may even create discomfort.
Ever hear that you are supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day? I have rarely tried to do so, when it was not an experience of discipline--even suffering. Some days, I could not even attempt it, unless, I knew I was going to be near a bathroom. My body, after glass three, would say, “Enough of this.” I would feel bloated. Not a good thing.
Now, on a hot summer day, after mowing, I might drink four glasses of water. I needed that much to meet a need. And, oh, did it feel good. Once that need was met, satisfaction dwindled.
You may own one home. If it keeps you dry and comfortable, that need is satisfied and you can’t do much better. Donald Trump owns a few homes—maybe five or ten. Donald Trump is not five or ten times more happy than you.
You may need a billion dollars in the bank, and you may have a billion dollars in the bank. Bill Gates has $55 billion in the bank. I assure you, Bill Gates is not $55 billion happier than you.
Here is my point. Jesus promised us that God would take care of our basic needs and to not worry about them. Most of us, when we worry, are not worried about basic needs; they are being met. Instead, we are worrying about the overflow of blessings God provides.
We are not worrying about getting the drink of water from the glass. That is being provided. We are worrying about the overflow of water in the bowl.