Today I had a rare moment when I thanked God after fueling up at the pump that I had gas in my car, clothes on my back (a new sassy outfit at that) and food in my refrigerator. I say it's rare because I'm usually talking to God about how I'd like things to be a wee bit or a way bit different. The topic of contentment recently popped up on my radar screen as I was asking women what topic they may want to study in the future. I have inclinations to write another bible study. There is no action at this point; just gathering thoughts.
When a couple of women mentioned contentment, I thought, "All of our longings will be filled when we are in Jesus' presence so until then we will never be completely satisfied. That's all I have to say about that." I also pondered that I don't live contentment very well. Who does? Yeah, the apostle Paul talked about learning the secret of contentment at the end of Philippians. But that's the guy who wrote half of the New Testament.
I do go back to that word "learned". This tells me that it's a process and might I add, a life long one at that. It seems like there's a continual learning curve. I want. I ask the Lord. I may or may not receive. I encounter unexpected twists and turns in my story. I have to constantly give up my right to experience life on my terms or at least the terms I think will satisfy my heart. There's the lie.
It's a big, fat hairy lie that will suck us up every time. I think I can find a place of satisfaction IF certain circumstances go a specific way. My heart requires that something be this way or that in order for it to be okay. That leads me back to the idea that there is a secret to contentment. It does NOT mean we have to give up desiring or wanting things to be different or better or more just. I do believe God's Himself is not just content to let things go on as they are. Perhaps the secret is knowing that my heart can be okay and full of life no matter what is or isn't going on in my life.
Depending on how things shape up, a change in my circumstances may bring relief, joy, encouragement (and I welcome those any day in Jesus' name) or to be honest, the opposite of tension, sadness or discouragement. My heart does not have to be tossed and turned by the allusion that it's satisfaction will be fulfilled in a change of circumstances. I have the Person of Jesus living in my heart who fills me up, strengthens me and makes me able to overcome. I am able to face life through Him and be changed as I encounter Him on a daily basis and in the end, I remind myself that this reality is all I need.
1 week ago