Roving Appetite Recovery

Wendy Pope

Day: 54 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty

Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 6

Ecclesiastes 6:9 (NIV) “Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

When I was growing up, it was always more fun to go over to my best friend’s house to play because her toys were so much better than mine. She even had a horse! My experiences at her house generated stuff-envy. I’m sad to say, it took me a long time to overcome my stuff-envy issue.

Even as an adult I struggled with an appetite for what others had. I longed for the life I thought “they” were living, rather than enjoying the life and the “stuff” had I been given. It pierced me to the core to see others living my dream. Maybe you’ve struggled with a roving appetite too. It took some time, but I am happy to say my appetite is now completely satisfied with gifts the Giver has given me. I’ve been in roving appetite recovery for years.

Solomon learned this too. He knew neither money, family, good health or wisdom will make us happy. He asks a poignant question in today’s reading, “For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow?” (Ecclesiastes 6:12).

Our days should be spent focused on enjoying the Giver of all good gifts rather than desiring what we don’t have. Wealth, position, power and possessions aren’t satisfying. (Ecclesiastes 6:1-2) The good life is life itself, family and friends. (Ecclesiastes 6:3-6) What we see in this world will never bring contentment to our soul. (Ecclesiastes 6:7-9) Obsessing over things we desire robs us of the joy of God’s blessings — those we see as well as those we don’t see. Oh, how our world needs roving appetite recovery.

It’s only when we find satisfaction in God that we can truly experience peace rather than chasing the winds of the world. The Apostle Paul identifies this as contentment: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11). Paul teaches contentment is possible when we:

  • Rejoice in the Lord always. (Philippians 4:4) Paul says to rejoice in the Lord, not our circumstances. If we really examine things, we can always find a reason to rejoice in the Lord.
  • Instead of being anxious, pray. (Philippians 4:5) Wouldn’t it be great if the onset of anxiety ushered us into prayer? This practice will invite the peace of God to guard our hearts.
  • Adjust our thought life. (Philippians 4:8) Directing our focus on the things that are true, right, lovely and honorable will draw our minds to what’s praiseworthy.

As we apply these adjustments, our focus will be directed to the Giver rather than to what we don’t have, or trying to figure out why what we do have isn’t bringing joy. Then, on the days when we feel like we are chasing the wind, trying to satisfy our roving appetite, we pause, take a deep breath and remember these adjustments. It’s time we start enjoying the Giver.

Prayer: Lord, I’m tired of chasing other things that only look like they will satisfy my longings. I want to chase You and Your Word. Help me, Lord, to find complete contentment in You and in gifts I already have. Remove my roving appetite for the lesser things in life. Help me to be mindful of Paul’s truths rather than anxiously fumbling through life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

Solomon repeats the word “meaningless” numerous times in the book of Ecclesiastes.... Read More

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