Human discontent vs Holy content: Where do we stand?

I can be content in any and every situation through the Anointed One who is my power and strength.

True contentment is the result of a heart committed to the risen Lord. This is learned, not something that comes naturally for any one of us. The normal, natural state of humanity is discontent and quiet desperation. It takes a powerful, spiritual presence to transform anxiety into joyous satisfaction.
Philippians 4, The Voice Translation

When is the last time you took a moment, took some length of time to thoughtfully and carefully consider how much you have learned from a particularly trying time in your life? I learned from a very young age, as I grew into a young adult, and considered what life would hold for me in a career, marriage, family….there is an art to handling things with dignity, humility and patience. I learned this from my Dad. I’m not putting him on some pedestal here, just acknowledging his influence to view life as an opportunity at any given moment, to step into what God has for me with confidence, making wise choices and with an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ who has saved me and made me whole. My Dad has been the strongest influence in my life at the most difficult moments I have ever had to face. It is because of that influence, the tenacity, the high expectations of myself, the determination to work hard, and love and appreciation for my family that has shaped me into who I am today. I am so appreciative of my Dad’s influence and advice over the years, as well as that of other key mentors in my life along the way, because it has enabled me to keep focused on my greatest influence: God the Father, and my Savior Jesus Christ who has made me, purposed me and created me for great things in my time on this earth!

I looked at Philippians 4 today, seeing and reading, imagining what Paul must have endured to be able to speak these words of encouragement to the church, to know and grasp this reality that even though life is hard, and it is not in our nature to be content, and in fact it is more in our nature to be overwhelmed by anxiety, worry, fear, doubt, frustration, exasperation…you enter the words of your choice here and get the idea….we have a reason, a certainty because of our faith in Christ that we can overcome, we can endure, we can make the best of EVERY situation we are in and we can find the inner peace that is in fact residing in us at all times! So what do we do, how to we respond when life gets crappy, and we find ourselves simply fed up with what we must deal with at any given moment? Hold tight, grab the Word and pour our hearts out to the God who already knows and understands us before the words come out of our mouths. We can be fully satisfied, FULLY SATISFIED, because of the astounding truth of what He chose to endure for each one of us! It puts any complaint I’ve ever had to shame. How could I possibly have a thing to complain about, because I truly lack nothing? I have everything I need, even though the world may say I don’t have enough. So you’re getting cramped in that tiny apartment or that tiny house, kids are driving you crazy, but yet you can’t seem to stop and consider that you have more than most. A roof over your heads, heat/air, food in your refrigerator, a bed to sleep on, a bath, school, a job....

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, and I am still learning, it is to be content and be creative with what you DO have and thank Him for your blessings. When we had AJ, we couldn’t afford to move right away, so we lived in our 2 bedroom apartment with 3 kids, 2 sharing a room and AJ in a pack n play in our room until we could afford a home. He was about 9 months old when we did move, and honestly we had some of the best memories as a family in that 2 bedroom apartment! Then, when we had Chloe, Ryan was out of work/in between temporary jobs, and we simply could not move because we had NO money, we made our tiny 3 bedroom house in Indiana work for as long as we needed. The boys shared a room, Rylee had a tiny room of her own and Chloe shared our room in a pack n play. When we moved to Missouri for better work for Ryan, we found ourselves making the most of very little once again in a 3 bedroom apartment. We sold, donated and threw away a lot of stuff in the months leading up to that move. I can still remember Ryan asking me more than once, “Are you sure we should get rid of that?” to which I replied, “Yep, it can be replaced, we can live without it and it simply won’t fit on the moving truck!” As good as my husband is at packing a truck, to this day I am the one who sifts through our closets several times a year, to donate and throw away what has been gathering dust and has sat untouched for months. There is something very cleansing about going through what we have accumulated over the years and considering, “Do I really need that?” and finding the answer is most often, no, and it can probably benefit someone else. And it doesn’t mean you immediately put something else in its place. Sometimes you need that space simply for the sake of having room to breathe and appreciate having less. Appreciate what you do have, the things that matter most. Don’t get caught up in what the world says is ‘enough’. Focus on what you truly need, and let it begin with what satisfies and provides the inner peace that passes all understanding. God is going to fill it according to His purpose for your life.

Don’t let a day go by that you don’t begin, overflow throughout your day, and end with glory to Him for what He’s given and taken away! He has His reasons, and when you can stop and say I have life, I have been blessed, and I have no reason to fear or doubt because I believe in the God who has purposed me for this very moment! Don’t get weighed down by what has been, or by what will be. Focus on this present moment, breathe in the life and purpose He has for you today.

That has been my overriding focus this New Year. He has been speaking to me the past week, how much He wants me to simply “live in this present moment, and live in His presence”. Simple truth. It is what we need and long for most often. But we miss it typically because we are so caught up and crazy busy with what we feel like we have to accomplish day to day. Stop the “have to’s” and consider what you really need most in this moment.

He is ready and waiting, will speak life into this moment with you so you can be free from what weighs you down.
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