Contentment. The state of being pleased and satisfied is something I think a lot of us wrestle with, and for me it's a near daily battle. I had been wanting to blog about contentment for awhile, but I didn't know what to write. Mostly because I haven't found the answer. I haven't found the discontentment cure, or been able to tie up an answer to the problem in a neat little package with a bow.
Today's culture creates a breeding ground for discontentment. Our instant access to the Internet and its' glossy photos that suggest a perfect life, lead us to wonder what is wrong with our marriage, our friendships or even ourselves?
Groupon, Amazon, and Etsy are always reminding us that there is a deal to be had, and whatever nice things you do have, don't compare to the new product that just came out. And lets not forget Pinterest and the never-ending feed of beautiful homes, impeccable style sense, and picture perfect dinners.
If the Internet wasn't bad enough, we will constantly be surrounded by friends and family who will seem like they have it made. There will be the ones with the cute new puppy, the blessed ones having a baby, or the excited ones signing a lease on their first house.
All of this seeming perfection creeps into our souls, creating a heart of discontentment, envy, and lending itself to a lack of peace. I know all this, because I am in that ugly place all too often. I often think "I want" or "I wish I had" before thinking "I'm thankful for". January was month where discontentment swallowed me up leaving me feeling stuck in my place in the world.
And then last Thursday at our church's meal group, the passage we read and meditated on brought me my much needed breakthrough.
"He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures. He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry."The passage (Psalm 147:1-11) was read three times, and each time, these two verses resonated deeply with me. These two verses paint a beautiful picture of a God who cares and of a God who is sovereign. This verse reminds me that He is a good God, and a God who provides for all of the animals and all of the earth. The passage also reminded me of a quote in one of my favorite movies, Facing the Giants"
"I heard of a story of two farmers praying to God for rain to come. Both prayed but only one prepared the land. Who do you think trusted God more to send the rain?"The Psalm was a verse that reminded me that God is sovereign and God provides. The movie quote reminded me that God is working, even when I can't see it. We know these things, but how quick we are to forget.
My God is a God who works behind the scenes. He is, right now, forming the clouds and creating the beautiful rain that will come later. When I feel stuck and forgotten He reminds me that He is a God who never forgets. He doesn't forget me now that I am feeling stuck. He doesn't forget His promises to me. He doesn't forget me. Ever.
Though I may feel stuck, I find hope in knowing that He is preparing the blessings that will come at a later time. All the moments of today, and the workings of tomorrow are not in vain. They are my preparation of the field that is to receive rain.
I can find contentment in knowing that where I'm at is exactly where I'm supposed to be. I can find contentment in being thankful for what I do have. I can find contentment in knowing, believing, and meditating on the fact that right now, God is working behind the scenes on my behalf.
God promises over and over to provide and fulfill us with everything that we need to live this journey. He is providing now, and He will provide then. He is preparing the rain, and my job is to be faithful in preparing a field.
When discontentment swallows me, I need to focus on my many blessings. When I feel trapped in my spot in life, I need to focus on the good of today. I find contentment in knowing that I serve a loving, merciful God who has promised to give me a hope and a future. I find contentment in picturing a loving Father who is creating, preparing, and blessing my life beyond that of my imagination. I find contentment in never forgetting that He is always working behind the scenes, and my job is to prepare the field for rain.
How about you? Do you struggle with contentment? What have you found that helps you be content with where you're at?
**lest you think this is a post with the answer to contentment packaged up with a pretty bow, I wrote the post and an hour later had a huge meltdown that was filled with ugly fat tears dripping of discontentment. Being content is a major work in progress.
Linking up with Sweet Little Ones Tuesday Talk!