Dissatisfaction: A Marketable Malady, Guest post by Cynthia Castelhano


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While I was perusing the hundreds of purses available in a local department store, looking for just the “right one,” I noticed another woman roaming around presumably pursuing the same elusive prize. After about an hour of this (seriously) and running into each other at every turn, she sighed, looked at me and, in a Southern drawl, announced, “I just can’t find a purse.”

I snickered, knowingly, holding two purses in my hands which I had dug out of the very back of a bottom shelf, trying to compare their merits and faults, and replied, “A sea of purses, and none to be found.” She snickered…in agreement.

If you thought for a moment (if it even takes that long), I suspect you would concur with the observation that retailers are banking on our collective dissatisfaction. We’re never satisfied and, therefore, are a seemingly endless “cash cow.”

We try to satisfy that itch with lots of salves—stuff, stuff and more stuff! Too much is never enough and enough is just not satisfying. Never is that more apparent than during the Christmas season.

This observation is nothing new. We all know it, agree with it, and to some extent, identify with it (though we may vehemently reject that particular idea, not hesitating to point at other people who really do “have a problem,” after all). To either a lesser or greater degree, dissatisfaction reigns supreme.

A little over ten years ago, my well-fed lifestyle took a serious hit when my husband of 22 years “scratched an itch,” so to speak, and altered my trajectory (and our family’s) forever. At that time, we had a big, beautiful home in a wonderful suburb, a vacation home in Arizona, and 39 acres of land in Prescott, Arizona purchased 9 years prior on which we were planning to build our retirement “dream home.” With only one child left at home finishing her last two years of high school, we were in the home stretch and, in my mind, looking forward to some rest and relaxation without the demands of a job and children. Apparently, he had other plans. Plans, I might add, which had been in the works—unbeknownst to me—for at least a couple of years, possibly more, and waiting for our daughter to finish high school. The LORD, knowing all along the devastation that was about to come, had a different plan for me.

Almost 11 years later, and my life has changed dramatically. My ex-husband finally married the very young woman for whom he left me. She has reaped all the benefits of what we had built and is, for all intents and purposes, living the life I had once thought would be mine.

But, honestly, though the trial left pretty deep scars, the LORD has been so good to me. He has been with me throughout and sustained me in the darkest hours. His shadow was never far from me. (Psalm 63:7) He has taught me to be satisfied in Him—and only Him. He showed me through His Word that I had removed Him from the throne of my heart—a place especially meant for the Savior, Jesus Christ, and had put my husband there, exchanging the glory of GOD for a lesser god. Clearly, he did not deserve, had not earned, nor could he satisfy the requirements of that place of honor. In his defense, he was a mere man whose interest, as GOD’s Word says, was his own stomach. I’d like to blame him, but it was my fault that I had placed him there.

Along the way, the LORD has altered my need for “stuff.” I have gone on several mission trips to other countries, which I would never have done had I been married. He opened up opportunities for me and widened my spiritual world. I won’t deny that my personality has changed—everyone has noticed that, but I think the maturing process of a Christian should change you—inwardly and outwardly. I see people all around me—even Christians, who are becoming increasingly self-oriented and it is so troubling. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) And their desire for the Word is limited to having their ears “tickled”—hearing only a watered down version of Truth because the reality of it is just too convicting and uncomfortable causing them to have to make some serious changes in their lives which they are loathe to do. And who doesn’t want to hear that knowing and accepting Christ as your Savior is going to financially prosper you? You can really add to your collection of stuff then, right? (2 Timothy 4 NASB)

Sadly, there are always elements out there ready and willing to accommodate and pander to our dissatisfaction, assuring us that their abilities to fulfill our limitless desires are equal to the task. And, I guess, for a while, they just might be. (Ezekiel 7:19 TLB) But in the end, only Christ can satisfy the desires of your heart and give you the enduring peace that only He can provide. (John 14:27) Don’t be fooled or settle for anything less. And trust me–everything is less compared to the incomparable riches of grace in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

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2 thoughts on “Dissatisfaction: A Marketable Malady, Guest post by Cynthia Castelhano

  1. Allison Pugmire says:

    What a wonderful post to start this season. My wise cousin wrote: There’s not more out there. There’s enough in here.

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