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Good no longer goes quietly, but ferociously — not just whining, but roll-on-the-ground screaming. Some screams deserve fatherly distress and strategic measures, but not these. We laugh because his sorrow is so wildly out of proportion.

I laugh, but not when I rock him each night before bed. When I hold him, I secretly hate the brevity of those moments and these years. Like a 2-year-old at the park, I refuse to put him down, wanting to keep the good from ever ending — to keep him from ever growing. I want my heart to be bigger, and the minutes longer, and the goodnights fewer. We feel the futility of this world in goodbyes and all-gones.

And if he gave me something as precious as a son, how much more will he give in the days to come? Pleasure can breed disproportion in us.

We chase small pleasures into the trap of thinking that life is really about small pleasures — food, sex, shopping, even friendship, marriage, and parenting. We end up trying to carve a god out of our small pleasures instead of following each one up to the greatest Pleasure. The other pleasures are not accidents. God filled this world with them. These priceless moments with our 2-year-old are not accidents. They are good gifts from a perfect Father James 1: Except the perfect Father gives perfect gifts to children with short memories, small hearts, and wandering eyes.

This is not now our experience. There are at least three good reasons why we are not yet totally happy, even in our happiest moments. Even the best things here are not good enough. Piper lists this first: He means for us to enjoy the gifts, but not to be content with just his gifts. He wants us to taste the good in everything else and want the highest pleasure: If I buy the best Christmas gift for my son in July, but then give him little energy and attention, even the best gift comes up far short.

Not some things, but everything — all things. Not as just less, but as loss. Not as small or cheap, but as garbage. As the Preacher of Ecclesiastes says, Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.

Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. Together they come up short, even pitiful.

Our hearts are not big enough for the good we do have. My mind knows there is more to enjoy in those moments than my heart can handle in real time, like my son enjoying his books without being able to read yet.

The good we have is not good enough, and our hearts are not even big enough yet for the good we do have. God has already given us a new heart Ezekiel God wants us to pray that he would open our minds and widen our hearts to take in more of his glory in what he has made. He also wants us to wait with anticipation for the day when we receive new and better equipment — new eyes, new ears, new hands, even a new nose and tongue.

For now, we sample infinite joy with inadequate hearts. Every good gift comes to an end — for now. The earthly goods we enjoy now will not last forever. In fact, they will not even last for long. Just like the pleasures are not accidents, the expiration dates are not either. They were formed for us, when as yet there was none of them Psalm God wired every good gift with unique measures of pleasure. And he wired them to end. He knew we needed finiteness to appreciate the infinite.

If everything here lasted forever, God might seem less glorious, heaven less promising, hell less terrifying, and souls less precious. Every temporary good — and they are all temporary here on earth — is an appetizer for the eternal. The partial was always meant to prepare us for something perfect — someone who could satisfy us completely, someone who could make us perfectly and invincibly happy.

Marshall Segal marshallsegal is a writer and managing editor at desiringGod. He and his wife, Faye, have a son and live in Minneapolis.


We’re on a mission to change that. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. Three Good Reasons You’re Not Happy Close. Marshall Segal @marshallsegal. Marshall Segal is a writer and managing editor at hcap.ga He’s the author of Not Yet Married: The This is not now our . Daniel Green, a year-old DJ from London, has encountered so many Snapchat-filtered pics on dating apps, he now has a disclaimer reading “please, no dog filters” on his Tinder, Bumble and.

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