20 He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! - Psalm 107:20-21
At the root of so much of our sin is an attitude of discontentment - the reality is we are often ruled by our desire for more in this life. We want what we want and we’re willing to sin to get it. We see what others have - whether it’s material possessions, a skinny waistline, or the family togetherness we see in pictures on Facebook - and we either get frustrated because we don’t have what they have so we lash out at the people nearest to us, or we set about getting that which is lacking in our lives, sacrificing the very gifts that have been given to us in the process. We want that job, we want obedient children, we want a loving spouse, we want a better body, we want things to go smoothly for our children, we want financial stability, we want fulfilling relationships or meaningful experiences, we want peace and security, we want to be respected and loved. We want what we want and our sole focus can be on achieving that which we determine is missing from our lives. The force at the center of that drive is discontentment, and that can be the root of so much sin in our lives.
It’s not surprising that we struggle with discontentment - the world we live in teaches us to be dissatisfied with what we have, from body image to identity and acceptance, from the state of our relationships to our successes and accomplishments, there is a defined set of norms that is dictated to us by this world. When we don’t measure up to the perceived standard - and let’s be honest, none of us are truly measuring up - we can end up spiraling into a pit of discouragement and despair. Discontentment. As we head down that path, we begin to grumble and complain, first in our own heads, and then out loud to others, dragging those around us into the pit with us. It can be a vicious cycle that eventually leads us holding the empty wrappers of the things that promised us contentment.
I think this is what the psalmist is getting at earlier in this passage when he says they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. - Psalm 107:18. Nothing seems to satisfy the discontent mind, not even the food that is placed in front of them. Remember the Israelites? They cried out to God to be rescued from the oppression of Egypt slavery, yet when He did, they were not satisfied. He provided for their every need in the desert, yet they wanted more. In fact, they cried out to be sent back to Egypt because they would rather have the cucumbers they ate in slavery then the manna they had in freedom. What?? It’s so easy for us to look at the insanity of their request and shake our heads, but we do the very same thing, don’t we? Just as it was for them, it’s difficult to see how ridiculous our discontentment is when we’re living in the day-to-day moments of our lives. He has offered us so many blessings, yet we still yearn for the bondage of the empty promises of those things we think will bring us satisfaction.
The hard truth is that we will never find satisfaction if we continue to seek it through people or possessions, through our own identity or accomplishments. Seeking satisfaction by chasing the things of this world is like trying to grasp the wind. We only end up exhausted and empty handed. Christ alone provides the satisfaction we so desperately desire. He has placed us exactly where we are in this life - He has chosen our body type, our financial situation, our job, our family, our disposition, our home - all specifically and purposely for us. And the God who created the moon and the stars, the oceans and the mountains, He doesn’t make mistakes. He didn’t make a mistake by creating you exactly as you are, or by placing you exactly where you are.
Still, if you want an attitude of contentment in where He has placed you, you have to seek after it and choose it. You have to acknowledge the truth that you already have all that you need to be content in this life. He has already provided for your every need. Stop looking for more and look at what you have right there in front of you. Make a choice to trust in God’s provision for you and say “I have enough.” That’s counter cultural and counter intuitive, but there is so much freedom in those three little words - I have enough. What He has given me is all that I need, and I am satisfied. The joy and the peace that follow the heartfelt proclamation in those words is overwhelming. Right here, right now, you have enough in exactly where He has you. Don’t look to the future and fear you won’t have enough, trust His mercies are new every morning and when you get to tomorrow, you will have enough. For this moment, right here and right now, I have enough.
There’s no doubt that the trial of my husband losing his job in the same week as we discovered I need to undergo chemo treatments had the potential of knocking the wind out of us. It would be easy to look at my circumstances and long for easier days, or to allow the frustrations of discontentment at my situation to creep in and impact my interactions with others. I am so blessed to be married to a man who consistently reminds me of God’s will in all things, and focuses my attention on the fact that we have enough. We are so incredibly blessed to have every need provided for by Him, we have nothing to fear. That’s not to say the world doesn’t whisper to me from time to time, “but what about tomorrow?” I battle those fears by reminding myself that I have enough for today. After all, that’s what He promises, enough for today.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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