Sunday, April 29, 2018

Choosing Contentment

Philippians 4: 12:  "I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want." 


My sweet grandbabies often spend the night with me and they are early risers, much to my I-really-need-my-coffee-before-interacting dismay.  One rainy morning last week, Swayze (age 3), asked me why it was raining outside. I quickly and sleepily answered, "I don't know, Baby. You'll have to ask God that question."   

With a serious look on her face, she immediately looked up to heaven and with a very loud whisper asked "God, why it 'waining' outside?"  She paused and then looked at me.  "Granna, I not hear him. Why He not answer me yet?"  Bless her heart!  I assured her that God had indeed heard her and I proceeded to take more time answer her question about why the earth needed rain.  She was satisfied and went back to playing. 

How many times do we get frustrated when God doesn't answer our questions immediately? I am embarrassed to admit that I am pretty impatient when it comes to answers of any kind, especially those from God. I think God should answer on my timetable.  I mean, don't my problems heavily outrank the rest of the world's? Mmmmhmmm. . . sometimes I let the frustration over His delayed answers marr the current happiness I have at my fingertips.  

I'd be happier if God would answer me the same day instead of making me keep on praying for things which seem so simple for Him to answer, like: 

~Why won't Lauren would let us be a part of her life?

~Why can't Abbey breathe without struggle?

~Why can't jobs go more smoothly? 

~Why haven't You healed my migraines? 

. . .the list goes on and on and on. 

But what if God never answers another one of my prayers for as long as I live? What if He never moves me, never heals Abbey or me, never changes my current lot in life.  Can I learn to truly be content? 

One of my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis, said: "If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; but if you think of it as a place of training and correction, it's not that bad."  In the Philippians verse above, Paul says he had to LEARN to be content. To learn anything takes practice. Hard days and unanswered prayers offer that practice, I suppose.

Recently, I asked my husband Michael: "If God never changes anything for us, and this--working every day for ourselves and struggling to pay our bills--is the way things will be for the rest of our lives, will you be happy?"   He, without hesitation, said "Yes. I would be more than okay with it."  He is content. He enjoys what he's doing. Does he wish we had more working capital? Absolutely. But is he satisfied that we'll be okay no matter what? Absolutely. 

Contentment is really a state of accepting that God's plan for your life is exactly and always the very. best. thing.  And relaxing into that knowledge can release so much worry and doubt and discouragement.  

I am learning, slowly but surely, that true contentment is sincerely acting with the grace which has dramatically changed my heart.  I don't have to care if life goes exactly the way I want, as long as I have Him.

Psalms 17:15: "But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing You and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see You face-to-face." 

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1 comment:

  1. I just found this. So timely and beautiful. Thank you for this awesome reminder of what contentment should mean for us in this everyday life.


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