For me, that word inspires the same electric reaction as the thought of sand in my shorts. It’s not very comfortable. Nonetheless, wrangling the concept of contentment into reality is a vital when living a set-apart life for God.
(Side note: I prefer to blog after I’ve worked through a struggle. Today I’m writing from dead center, so bear with me.)
This morning when I looked outside, I breathed a heavy sigh of disdain: more snow. Even more than we had yesterday, which was more than the day before…which was already too much for my liking. I like the white stuff, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t like being cooped up in the house like a hamster in a shoebox. The spackled paint on our walls is really not something I want to be too familiar with. Honestly.
So I huffed around in the kitchen like a grumpy old woman. Grumble, grumble. Fuss, fuss, fuss. The worst part? I knew God wasn’t being pleased with my attitude. (I tried to ignore it, but the conviction stayed.)
Then came the voice. *sigh*
“Hey, what are you so grumpy about? What is it you DON’T have that is making you so unappreciative for everything you DO have? And—”
(Now I’m not saying these were God’s exact words, but I’ve felt that gentle prodding before and knew precisely where He was going with it.)
“—isn’t all that I have given you enough to settle your selfish heart? Salvation? Forgiveness? Hope? Grace? Freedom? Mercy? Love? Security? What about…”
And I’m thinking, “Yeah, yeah, You died on the cross, I know that. But…”
Ooooh. OOH. I shouldn’t have said that. Bad move, dear heart, bad move.
I sat down, on a hard couch in my mind, contemplating in my own stupid selfishness. The cushions weren’t very soft in this room, I noticed. I scanned the walls and twitched as I realized all the portraits were hanging crookedly, and all the depictions were of the world—specifically, my own life. But the lens had captured everything upside down and backwards, clouded and skewed.
I held my breath. Was this the world through my own vanity?
Shuddering, I walked over to the far wall. There was one picture that I couldn’t recognize from across the room, but it came into focus and a horrible realization smacked me against the face.
It was a picture of the cross. It was a symbol of a gift that had been given me. Yet it wasn’t portrayed in the glorious, triumphant manner I was used to. No, instead the T-shape was mangled and strewn across the backdrop…and a shadow eerily resembling my own footprint was emblazoned on it.
Let’s transition back to reality: Isn’t that what we do when we choose to ignore the goodness of God? Doesn’t our own selfishness skew our outlook on life? Furthermore, are we trampling the cross of Christ when we choose to focus on our vain pursuits rather than the greatest joys He has laid before us?
I’m not saying I have mastered this art of contentment. I really haven’t. But I’ve decided to take the challenge today and willfully choose to be content.
Well, there’s that sand in the shorts again. But oh well…the snow will wash it out.
“…Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.”
– Isaiah 49:23b
“The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”
– Proverbs 19:23
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
– 1 Timothy 6:6-7