In my efforts to understand contentment I have really been thinking about the level of contentment in my life. Wow – would I be able to actually say I have no need for anything as the Shunammite woman in one of my previous posts?
The truth is, I have had quite a long list.
I used to think a lot about what I wanted and needed, for both my family and myself. Not just material things but also emotional and physical needs. But lately, I have been reflecting on what God wants for me and this beautiful family of mine.
It really is a fine line between contentment, balance and striving – which easily leads to performance oriented thinking. It is not so much about being able to be content but about being consistently content. That is the challenge.
From one day to a next we can easily flow from contentment into the miserable opposite thereof, but what about putting those consuming considerations aside and remaining in Gods’ peace no matter what the circumstances? Oh boy, oh boy!
I think I have mentioned before in a post that faith is the exact opposite if fear. You see when we believe for something good that has not yet happened it is exactly like fearing for something that has not yet happened.
Both of these require the same amount of belief and energy.
Why is it that we so easily have incredible belief for that which we fear to happen and we can’t believe the bad luck when it actually happens! When we are challenged on the other hand to believe for miracles, healing and breakthrough, we struggle and we fight with unbelief and the mind-set we have got so settled in. Funny things, us human beings!
It is thankfully the process and the heart that God sees, He knows we cannot get it right without Him.
“Not by power, not by might, but by my spirit says the Lord.” Zechariah 4 verse 6.
We don’t have to attempt any of these things in our own strength, thank goodness because if I did we could all just take a seat right now, the party would be over.
How amazing is it that our Adonai already sees us as having passed the exam, so to speak. We don’t need to write a mind numbing thesis or win any medals to be His heirs. We don’t need to whip ourselves and break ourselves down in order to discipline our wayward souls. His grace covers all of our warts and wounds and what He sees, through His son, are the sons and daughters He lovingly created. His love is so incredible and so encompassing, so redeeming and forgiving.
Who would not want to fall into His arms for shelter and care?
When I try to speak French – I am so nervous to open my mouth because I am no-where near confident enough in my small ability to say anything. I love asking for coffee in French because that is absolutely no problem but don’t ask me to tell you where I live or how to get to the bank! Total melt down!
In the beginning I was getting so frustrated and anxious that I would never be able to get it right, and that I would make a complete fool of myself as I tried to verbalised the simplest instruction or response.
In the midst of this personal language debacle I did get to the place where I realised that I know so much more than I did a few months ago and if I do mess up and tell someone they have a huge rear end instead of saying how lovely the view is I would survive it (albeit embarrassed!) and I would just have to try again.
It would have to be okay and I am sure the French, seeing that I am not a master at this elegant language, they would forgive my faux pas.
This to me is how I believe Adonai looks at us when we get it wrong – we have to get up and try if we hope to get the hang of it. He keeps no record of our slip ups and tantrums when we come to Him and ask for another chance. Of course it is the heart that is at the core of all of this – when our hearts are seeking what is right our lives begin to show symptoms of our healthy state.
So no more beating yourself up for all the things you get wrong – how about thanking God for the things you get right, the things that you are changing or working on getting right.
Focus on what works and what is growing and shifting for the good, habits you are breaking and behaviours you are adjusting. When we are overly critical of ourselves and what we can or cannot do we often set ourselves up for failure or we become oblivious to the small, yet powerful successes that should be seen and valued.
I have been thinking about all the things that have shifted in my life in the last year and what I am grateful for God shifting in my heart. Because I think it is time to take stock of the great, the good and the okay in order to appreciate the grace after the hiccups.
Lots of blessings to you all,