December 04, 2006

Wanting Happiness

Genesis 29:31-35; 30:22-30

"She named him Joseph, and said, "May the LORD add to me another son." Genesis 30:24


The other day my son handed me his Christmas "wish list." It was a long list citing many of the newest games and toys--advertisers had done their job well!

It's no secret that for many people Christmas is all about presents and what they will get. Many people are convinced that if they just get what they want in life, they will be happy.

A good example of this kind of desire is found in the story of Jacob and his wives, Leah and Rachel. Each of them desperately wanted something, and they were convinced that they would be happy if they just had the thing they wanted. Leah desperately wanted what Rachel had: the love of Jacob. Rachel desperately wanted what Leah had: the ability to bear children. Jacob wanted what his father-in-law, Laban, had: large herds and flocks of his own.

But the things of this world never bring lasting happiness. When God blessed Rachel with a son, she was glad, but then even as she named her son, some of the first words out of her mouth were "May the LORD add to me another."

If you are seeking something that you think will make you happy, remember that at Christmas God gave you everything your heart needs for joy--God gave his Son, his grace, his love.

Father, thank you for the lasting joy you provide through the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to turn from the empty promises of this world to find joy in you. Amen.

About the author — Joel Sheeres

Rev. Joel Sheeres is the pastor at First Christian Reformed Church in Crown Point, Indiana. He and his wife, Christine, have three children. Pastor Sheeres has previously served at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois.

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