I remember to a little over a year ago… “discontentment”
was the word that kept ringing in my ears. Despite the amazingness of God’s plan to miraculously reunite me with my then “ex-fiancee” and then bless us with an amazing 11 day planned wedding… I found only one weekend later that I had a new discontentment in my heart.
I guess “marriage” had been my source of discontentment for sooooooooo long that I thought that when I finally said “I do” I would be content. And yet… we had been married a mere 9 days and could here the infamous words of discontentment rear its ugly voice again…
“Well, maybe one day when…”
“I’ll be happy when…”
“Maybe if I…”
And honestly, it is still something that I struggle with today.
Some days, it is a very superficial discontentment… “If only I was thinner… If only I was beautiful like her… if only we had a nicer car… or nicer house… or” (you get the picture).
But sometimes, I feel a bit righteously discontent. “If I only I made more money, I could help that family who is in dire need.” “If only I had more time I could be more intentional about that relationship…”
As true as any of the statements might be… non of my discontentment changes anything.
Instead, it usually ends up discouraging me and robbing of my joy and peace for the day.
Interestingly, I think the truth of this hits closer to home for those who have more than most. Currently, I am surrounded by both rich and poor. Some people I am close to, make about the equivalent to $200 a month, while other make more than I could imagine. Interestingly, there is usually more contentment among those who make less money, for they have grown to appreciate the little they have. However, those who have much already know that they have bought all the things they want… and they are still not satisfied.
Some of my favorite quotes are by a man named Phil Vischer (you may know him as the voice of Bob the Tomato). One sermon that has particularly inspired my life is called “Dreams.” when he speaks of the bankruptcy and loss of his Veggie Tales endeavor. At one point in his talk he says, “A man who has many things plus God, has nothing more than he who has God alone.” He goes on to explain that if God is infinite… then you can’t add anything to infinity… but rather, He is all we need.
Now, in my mind heart I know this.
But in my mind I continue to remain discontent.
Always waiting for the next big thing… even within the church.
I just can’t wait for another revival, or “move of the Spirit…”
Please, don’t me wrong, those things would be great, but is that what I should be waiting for? Or should I simply be living my life to the full right now, with what I have, with who I know, and with the tasks at hand.
Isn’t this what Paul exhorts us to do in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 when he says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quite life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
Honestly, I think this may be the key to thankfulness… because I cannot be thankful for what I have until I stop putting all of my thoughts and effort into wanting something else.
So, let’s stop the letting the lies of discontentment steal our joy and life.
Let’s trust that the Lord is truly faithful…
whether hoping for a husband, or a better job, or better body, or children, or bigger house, or money to give, and time to share…
let’s just appreciate what we have.