Contentment: Is It Possible In All Things?

D3901D61-9EE0-4BF4-8A93-CFCE3F398C76My mom has told me often just how difficult of a baby I was to feed. I would cry in between bites as if I hadn’t eaten in days. Or when she would give me a bottle I sucked the milk down so hard that my face would turn completely red. I had an insatiable appetite. I guess somethings never change.
But what about us in life? Are we living insatiable lives? Are we capable of ever being content? Or are we running around crying between satisfying bites in life. I looked hard at myself this morning. And in ways I’m very much still that baby crying at the One Who feeds me between bites. If you’re honest with yourself would that be you too? That doesn’t mean we aren’t thankful or never thank God. But there is restlessness about us and our prayers. We aren’t satisfied or content by our blessings. Is that even possible? Can we be content and praise God, even in our lacking or in our pain?
I went to the Bible for answers. I came across 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. Here we find a man who has been inflicted with much pain by a thorn in his side. He pleads with God several times to remove it for him. God reminds him that His grace is sufficient for him in any circumstances. That His power is made greater in our weakness. That even in the painful times God is there to get us through it. The man responded by saying, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I reflect a lot on this one as I am still in constant physical discomfort after an illness two years ago. It is healing but it’s a slow at times very painful process. God however has gotten me through every phase of it. Then there is Job. Most of us know of Job. The rich man who loses his family, all his livestock, and more. Then as if that’s not enough, his body is overtaken by boils. He drops to his knees tears his robe and praises God. Job does go through times of anguish of even questioning God. But He never speaks ill of God. His belief in God and Gods almighty power still stands true. At the end of Job God restores Job and blesses him with more than he had lost.
Then there is the writer of a well known and loved song. Most of know the song “It Is Well” but most of us don’t know the story behind that song. The writer of the song had an unexpected business problem and was going to Europe along with his wife and four daughters. He told his wife to go ahead on a ship with their daughters and he would meet them in Chicago later. The ship went down and he lost all four of his daughters. He immediately got on a ship to go out to meet his wife. As the ship went over the spot where his children were lost he wrote “It Is Well.” That’s praising God in loss. That’s being content in our lacking, That’s worshipping God in our pain. After reading this story I’ve never been able to listen to that song without some tears. What a beautiful statement of faith.
So how can we do this? I am learning that the more I stay in Gods word and in constant prayer with Him, the easier it gets. I also try to take time now to remember all the things I do have to be so thankful for. No I don’t have a significant other, but I am deeply loved by many. No I don’t have children of my own, but as a pre-k teacher I am constantly surrounded by the love of children. I have a 10 year old car that’s still going with little maintenance needs. I have a warm place to sleep at night. Food to eat, clothes to wear, and more. I’m sure you have a long list of blessings too. The more we focus on the goodness of our lives the easier it becomes to focus on the goodness of God. Not that it’s dependent on good in our lives, Gods goodness is constant. It does however make it easier for us to see it. Then in the hard times we can look back on it. We can say, “I know God is good because,” and then we fill in our blanks. Look, God knows we will want things we don’t have at times. He wants us to bring the desires of our hearts to Him. He also however wants us to praise Him in all things. That’s the part most of us miss. I pray a lot to be able to fully thank God even amongst loss that I can’t understand. To praise Him for all that I can not see. To be able to say and mean it is well with my soul. Take time with God daily. Allow Him to help you see all that you have, and learn to be content while waiting on His blessings to come. As always I am praying for you.

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