My life was not going as I’d planned. I was left home alone with two toddlers while my husband spent his days trucking across America. I was Not. Happy. At. All! He’d left full time ministry and for three long years was employed as an over-the-road driver that kept him away from home most of the week while I did the parenting basically alone.
I flunked the test during that season of our lives. God often gives us the opportunity to express thanks to Him when we’re experiencing less than “ideal” conditions. At least less than our idea of what our conditions should be. I failed the test because I’d settled deep into discontentment, one of the ugliest heart conditions one can have. And I had one ugly heart!
Discontentment says I deserve more, bigger, and better!
Now, you may be too “spiritual” to voice it that way, but discontentment can be deeply rooted in your heart, but you don’t see it there because you’ve covered it with a veneer of good intentions. You really don’t see yourself as “complaining” just voicing concerns or expressing your opinion.
Discontentment looks at what God provides (or appoints) and finds reason to gripe and complain. Remember a familiar story from a group that kept looking fondly back to the past (conveniently forgetting they were in slavery) and ignoring the daily miracle poured out for them?
[box]The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna” (Numbers 11:4–6).[/box]
We can point the finger at these guys and shake our heads in disgust, but how often are we guilty of the same disposition? The Beautifully Fierce Woman is filled with gratitude for God’s good gifts. Her heart is ruled by the peace of contentment. And if you’re wondering how you get contentment, here are a few of my thoughts.
Contentment flows from a heart that’s settled the three most important issues of life:
He is sovereign and working all things out according to His plan. Even when we experience suffering and difficulty, we must trust that this is a sovereign appointment from God for my good and His glory.
“I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” (Psalm 119:75)
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
I can trust His provision, His plans and His personal work in my life because He is trustworthy. He is the God who sees and knows my need and seeks to work through that situation to conform me more to His image and to accomplish His redemptive purposes.
“The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)
He is my greatest treasure. He is where my heart is; all my deepest longings are fulfilled in Him. He is my complete sufficiency and Who I most value.
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe . . .” (Heb. 12:28)
When I sink deeply into those truths, I can be at rest and content with what He allows. I can cease striving. I can stop trying to control people and circumstances. I can stop manipulating and pressuring. I can find joy in the daily moments of my life, knowing each one is a gift from the Father and worthy of my gratitude.
I can rest in my love relationship with Him. And that is the heart of contentment.
Would your friends and loved ones describe you as a contented woman today?
Is complaining a common activity for you?
How can I pray for you today?
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