A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my sister and I realized that despite the many blessings I was currently experiencing, I was complaining quite a bit. Isn’t it funny how we beg for things to go right and then when they do all we seem to focus on the one thing that hasn’t quite worked itself out yet? I felt so guilty about my perspective and confided in my sister that I was struggling. She reminded me that to remain content is actually a battle. And it is a battle that matters.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.- Ecclesiastes 3:1
Ecclesiastes reminds us that everything has a season, which means that where we currently are is not where we will always be. I don’t want to end up so focused on what God is about to do that I don’t appreciate what He is doing NOW.
Contentment is something we must cultivate because it truly matters to our faith walks.
- Sets me up for the miracle
- Ann Voskamp talks about gratitude preceding the miracle in her book 1000 gifts. No truer words were ever spoken. All through out scripture God encourages us to “give thanks” for everything at all times. (1 These 5:18) Living with a spirit of gratitude keeps us from moving into thought patterns that could lead us to step out of God’s will and His timing and land us right smack in the middle of sin. Jesus loves a grateful heart. It is the perfect place to do a miracle.
- Keeps my heart centered on Christ and not idols
- When I stay content, I am less likely to fall prey to idolatry. When I accept that what I have is more than enough and what God has coming will arrive in it’s perfect time, I am less likely to unreasonably desire what is next. We can quickly turn something God wants us to have into something we place above God. Contentment keeps things in their right place. It helps us focus on the fact that the builder is always better than the house and the giver will always be better than the gift. (Hebrews 3:3)
- Keeps me from missing my current season
- A wise woman once told me “Don’t wish your life away.” When we are in high school, we can’t wait to get to college. When we get to college we (maybe) can’t wait to graduate. Then we rush to marriage, hurry into kids, and so on and so forth. We just RUSH. And when we rush, we MISS out and often ruin what God is doing right now. Being fully present allows us to savor every bit of fruit He brings forth in the season. We get to make real memories and form real bonds and really see God in His fullness. But if our eyes are set too far ahead we could just flat out miss it. This season has lessons, people and experiences I will need for those to come. It deserves my full attention.
It isn’t easy. Every day I have to chose to live from a place of thankfulness. I have to choose to say where God has me is right where I need to be even if I don’t necessarily want to be here any more. I have to surrender my timelines and trust He has my best interest at heart. Thank goodness His mercies are new every morning.(Lamentations 3:23)
One of the ways that I am working on reminding myself to stay content is to really cook with the seasons flavors. That means I have fully immersed myself in the pumpkin spice craze. It seems small, but I am really trying to savor fall by consuming butter nut squash, apples and all things pumpkin. So I whipped up some pumpkin bread! Feast on it!