Thursday, November 19, 2009

Be careful what you ask for. . . .

Here's some great stuff from Jeremiah Burroughs and Tim Keller via Kevin DeYoung today:

Jeremiah Burroughs’ (1599-1646):

Therefore for my part, if I should have a friend or brother or one who was as dear to me as my own soul, whom I saw discontented for the want of such a comfort, I would rather pray, “Lord, keep this thing from them, till you shall be pleased to humble their hearts for their discontent; let not them have the mercy till they come to be humbled for their discontent over the want of it, for if they have it before that time they will have it without any blessing” (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, 159).

In other words, if people think they can’t live without some thing, they’ll still be miserable even when they get the thing they wanted so badly. Burroughs goes on to suggest:

There are many things which you desire as your lives, and think that you would be happy if you had them, yet when they come you do not find such happiness in then, but they prove to be the greatest crosses and afflictions that you ever had, and on this ground, because your hearts were immoderately set upon them before you had them.

So be careful how you pray. As Tim Keller (or was it that spirit of Jeremiah Burroughs?) has written, “We never imagine that getting our heart’s deepest desires might be the worst thing that can ever happen to us” (Counterfeit Gods, 1).

These are important things to think over as we enter the holiday season. Be careful what you long for this Christmas. . it might be the "worst thing that could happen to you".

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