"And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot." (Deuteronomy 29:5)
Just be grateful that the newness and enthusiasm you feel for your new shoes wears out long before your shoes do. I'll explain: How sad would it be if, while walking around in your brand new sneakers, you knew they'd wear out while you still thought of them as your "new" shoes and liked them as such? Does this make sense? Few pleasures in life match the excitement of a new pair of shoes. As an aside, I'd like to point out that the children of Israel, during their forty-year sojourn in the desert, never had a problem with their shoes (sandals) wearing out. God supernaturally kept them new, as it says in the heading verse. Yet even then, they couldn't express any gratitude to Him. In our case it seems we naturally grow tired of things and this has nothing to do with the fact that they wear out and fall apart. Why is this? Doesn't this seem to run contrary to the way of life Jesus showed to us? I'm not speaking with respect to possessions, I'm talking about an innate predisposition to discontentment. I was a young kid when I first noticed this. I had gotten a new toy and for about a week it was the coolest thing. Then afterward, my enthusiasm began to wane and it became just another of my old toys. A process that had taken place with each of them, I might add. With the one in question, however, I became aware of this dynamic in a way I'd never seen. Though I wouldn't have been able to put it into words at the time.
The antidote for this predisposition to discontentment is gratitude, plain and simple. Sure, our shoes might wear out and we'll rack up the miles on our vehicles and watch things around us decay and fall apart, "where moth and rust doth corrupt…"(Matthew 6:19-20). Yet if we remain grateful for the transitory things God has given us, then He'll keep us content with the things that are intranistory—constant. Like peace, joy, hope, love. And then our material possessions will take on their proper place in our life—as gifts from God (see James 1:17), tools for our bett
erment and things for which to be grateful.
"What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?" (Psalm 116:11)
God accepts gratitude as payment.