Summary: Fable of a couple who wanted to be like God and received more than they bargained for!


Did you have some good presents this Christmas? Perhaps you wish you had more? Sometimes it’s easy to be greedy and not be satisfied with what we’ve got.

There’s a fable of a couple living in poor circumstances who were given the opportunity to make four wishes, guaranteed to come true. They could ask for whatever they wanted and they would have them! It seemed too good to be true. They were rather modest at first and asked for some good clothes and when they looked in their wardrobe their wish had been granted. The rail was filled with fine coats, suits and dresses!

This encouraged them to wish for something better than their broken down cottage and when they returned home they found it had turned into a mansion!

This was wonderful so they now asked to be really wealthy and miraculously they had untold riches – jewels, cash in the bank and investments.

They wondered how they could top this and thought, ‘Well, let’s ask to be like God!’ Their wish was granted – but not as they expected! All their possessions disappeared – clothes, mansion and wealth – nothing was left except a cattle trough with some straw in it! They were like Jesus found Himself when He was born in Bethlehem – in a cattle manger!

That’s what He had to make do with. And similarly, through His earthly life He ‘had to make do’ – with rather poor followers, few possessions, small comforts and no home, ending with a cross and a tomb! But it was through them that He triumphed and brought salvation to mankind. He still has to do with us, His followers, often grumbling about our circumstances, and looking for more!

The apostle Paul had the right attitude to life: ‘I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want’ (Philippians 4:11,12). This makes for a happy and contented life.

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