Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing but the soul of the diligent is made fat.
I don’t know how diligent I am, Lord, but my soul sure does feel fat. I feel a deep satisfaction, peace and contentment. You have been incredibly good to me and I rejoice in Your faithfulness.
Remember how in the Problem Solving class* you teach about lacks and lusts? Most people attribute the pain and frustration in their lives to various misfortunes and injustices. But their greatest pain often comes from lust- the overextended craving for more. Enough is never enough. Lust of any kind- for reputation, power, social status or experiences like travel, leisure or the comforts of sex or good food become a ravening hunger that can’t (or won’t) be satisfied.
The soul of the sluggard is not just a passive, lazy, indolent soul but a covetous, greedy, ravenously hungry one. The problem is not what’s missing but what’s there.
But some things ARE missing, aren’t they?
Gratitude. A willingness to embrace suffering. An acceptance of delayed gratification-the willingness to lay aside the greedy, grasping, impatient life of the flesh now in hope-confident hope- of obtaining the sweetest rewards of peace, comfort, true fulfillment at My hand in “due season”. “Due season” means I alone control the timing of the harvest, the blessing and fulfillment of being fully satisfied- of being “made fat”.
Diligence in this proverb isn’t referring to grinding toil but to a heart conditioned by faith and a soul willing to live responsibly, whole-heartedly and self-sacrificially now in exchange for abundance later. And abundance is way more than material. What’s a quiet, peaceful, contented heart worth? What are healthy relationships worth? Or the satisfaction of surveying a good day’s work well done?
The desire for instant, easy gratification of the senses is the bane of modern existence in the affluent West. It leads to leanness of the soul.
It really comes down to a matter of trust, doesn’t it?
And knowing-really knowing- who I am. Am I sovereign? Do I have the right to control the events of your life, to define what and when “due season” is? Am I good? Will it be worth the wait, the trust, the self-surrender required to lean on Me to satisfy the deepest, truest cravings of your soul?