Tag Archives: contentment

Surely You Won’t Die…or will you?

I think of the garden scene a lot.  Adam and Eve in paradise – or the closest thing to it on earth.  Heaven on earth.  Adam and Eve walked with God and talked with Him enjoying His presence constantly.  Everything they needed was in the confines of that existence, which is exactly how God intended it to be, perhaps even for us!

In my mind, I see hundreds and hundreds of trees yielding every kind of fruit we can think of.  I believe the garden was the place of perfection and what we all want life to be – no want of any kind and need.  I think desire wasn’t even in their vocabulary yet until that one conversation changed everything (Genesis 3).

“Surely you will not die!” (Genesis 3:4).  In other words, “He’s a liar.  He just doesn’t want you be rival to Him.  He wants to control you!  He doesn’t want you to be truly happy! One piece won’t hurt! What difference will it really make?  Die?  Pff – you’re not gonna die. “ Sound familiar?  With all we have, with everything God has blessed us with and everything He’s allowed us to live through and experience (both good and bad), we can’t seem to get to the place where we’re content with that.  Some are in a state of constant want: “If I could just…if I had…I want…if only…”.

God didn’t tell them not to partake of the tree to be mean or controlling. He did that for their protection because He knew the harm that would come to them.  He knew it would change them and their relationship with Him…and it did.  The same principal is true for us.  He knows what sin will do to us and our relationship with the Father. The things He warns against are all wrapped in “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1st John 2:16 NASB).  The Bible is full of caution for our protection! It’s not that He wants you to be without what you think you want…He wants you to be without hurt, regret or shame.

Toying, flirting with, considering doing what we know we shouldn’t WILL kill us in more than one way.  It causes something in us to die and could cause pain all around us.  From some consequences we may never recover. Are you willing to risk it?  Do you want to die?

FIGHT!!!

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning.  Lots of people are at church…I am not. Not happy about that.  For the past five weeks, my work schedule has prevented me from going.

That’s not all.  LOTS of things…little things and big things are vying for my happiness…lots of things are bugging me.

I’m laughing out loud because just over an hour ago, I spent two hours in my Bible soaking up the love, ingesting what God had for me for this day.  I was such a happy, happy girl because that time in the mornings with Him is my most favorite.

Then real life kicks in and there is a raging fight going on inside of me…I can focus on all that’s wrong or turn to the One who makes everything right. Seems like there’s always a fight for contentment.  It’s a relentless cycle of emotion to keep and protect our contentment, our faith and a positive demeanor.  I’m forced to eat my words during these times…how many times have I said “happiness is a choice”, “fight for your faith”?  Some days it’s easier than others…some minutes it’s easier than others.

It’s hard for me not to spout and shout.  I fight myself more than (and harder than) I’ve fought anyone else. I can choose to throw a well-justified fit – or I can choose to be quiet and calm down and choose contentment over circumstances provoking me to lose it. “Whatsoever” comes to mind in 1st Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Does that word apply to fit-throwing, discontentment raging, unhappiness-feeling? Can I be discontent and unhappy “to the glory of God”? I think so.

I fight not to let my feelings dictate my behavior or distort my faith.  That’s a tall order when I’m my center.  I must fight to get my eyes off me and my selfishness and onto Him.  In this moment I’ve chosen to do just that (greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world). I choose to not let my feelings produce ugly actions and words.

That’s the fight for faith – not to do life the way we see it played out all around us. I choose (this time) to bless God. If Christ is in us there should be some of Him coming out of us (if we choose to let Him).  So, in this moment of discontentment I fought me and I let Him win.  The next time I may not…but I’m praying I do.

FINDING GRATEFUL

After many years and many prayers, the Lord let me live to see a long time dream fulfilled. Once again I find myself in his “classroom” relearning a lesson I thought I had down pat: all things are possible with God but the all possible is not always easy. Just because you get a yes doesn’t guarantee smooth sailing. For some reason when I struggle after struggling for what seems a lifetime my feelings get hurt! That proves what a child (a pouty and willful child I might add) I still am.
Even when you get a green light on your dreams to become reality, the issues of life still are factors. Things like illness, financial struggles, cars break down, family issues are still there; the kids have their issues, you get what I’m saying. I totally understand why people seldom smile or look up and why some resort to drastic measures just to survive. Life is heavy. No one knows what another carries so be kind and be careful about passing judgment.
I recently moved from Alabama and shortly after I did, tornadoes ravaged the neighborhood I used to call home. A friend alerted me the night they hit that a tornado was headed straight for my old neighborhood. Most of my belongings had been moved from where I lived to my friend’s carport. I wasn’t only frantic for my friends and former neighbors, I realized losing pretty much everything I owned was a real possibility. I paced and prayed and begged God to spare those I loved and let go of my stuff. Gut wrenching and surprising at the same time. I had witnessed people rummage through the storm torn remains of their homes to salvage something of their own not understanding their pain at all. I got a glimpse that night. That’s just one of the many, many hard, sad, painful things that have happened the past seven months.
Here’s what I learned from taking a look back. More than ever, I see how hard it is to find grateful when your world is tossed into unrecognizable chaos. You may think at first glance there’s nothing to be thankful for. You may think there’s no point in trying to do better, be positive or even get out of bed the next day because no matter what you do, nothing changes. Why not do what would be so easy…pull the covers up over your head, be mad at everything and everybody, get a drink, take some pills, blow up at someone or worse, get a gun…
No. I refuse. I have moments when I can’t see the point. I think we all do. That’s the moment of deciding what I do with what’s happening. See, it’s not so much about what happens; it’s about what we do with what happens. Will I give up? Will I act on my feelings or will I resort to my faith? I can be thankful God’s with me through this current crisis, or I can be mad He’s allowed it. I can raise my hands in praise believing ultimate good will come or clinch my fists in anger I’m suffering yet again. I search for gratefulness. My method of coping is ushering up a prayer and deciding to be thankful. I know this is a recurrent theme in my blogging but it’s so important. I believe I’m supposed to share it because you have been sold a lie! Someone’s told you your happiness, thankfulness and contentment are based on your circumstances. Nothing is further from truth. Contentment comes from an inside work of God and the decision you make every day. What will you decide? No matter what you face or what you’re going through, look for grateful and I promise you’ll find it!