Thursday, August 4, 2011

Contentment

So, I've decided to come back to life for the end of the summer. Rafe, my department chair, makes fun of the fact that I fall off of the face of the earth during the summer; no one from school can really get ahold of me, and no one sees me apart from chance. I always come back, but it's nice to take a break from the ordinary during this, all too short, season.

Contentment is something I've been thinking about a lot in the past week, and it's a sort of sticky idea. I know that we as believers like to blame a lot of our difficulty (with anything) on "society" when really the difficulty is there regardless; I think that being content is one of those things. Of course our society is never content. Of course it ebbs and flows based on a whim and is always looking for the next big thing. Then, almost paradoxically, it strives to live in the moment, abandoning thoughts of consequences for actions.

Ladies, do not fall into this trap of thinking or living.

For me, all this came about because of a sermon on Genesis 40 - Joseph in jail. Even though Joseph had God's favor upon him, he still spent over two years in jail for an offense he didn't commit. And yet, he famously says later to his brothers, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good..." (Gen. 50:20). In the end, no one, not even faithful Joseph, could have imagined how God was working in this situation; Joseph being exalted to the kind of power he would eventually have was more than any of his wildest dreams. God's timing was perfect and purposeful, and that same God is our God who desires good for us because He is good.

Having come out of (I think we're coming out of it, anyway) a pretty difficult two year stretch, this story humbled me immensely. When we got home, I talked to Adam about this feeling of a lack of contentment that we have had with our situation. We've been looking ahead to when things would be better, easier and more perfect, not really stopping to appreciate what we have been provided. God has truly provided, blessing us abundantly. By being discontent though, we have been acting ungrateful for His provision. It's become an easy habit to maintain; society is telling us we should look toward the bigger, better next thing, and we have fallen into line with it.

So, my question for you, dear readers, is are you content with where God has you today? Do you trust His purposes and goodness? Do you love His sovereignty even if you are in trial? Are you resting in His promises and everlasting character?

Do not turn this into legalism; being content won't make you righteous before God. But take a moment to evaluate where your heart is in this issue, and have a great day. Soli Deo Gloria.