“…in all these things, I have learned to be content.”
Such a great phrase, isn’t it? At this precise moment in my life, I can say that I am content. I’m home alone for a couple hours while my husband picks up a weekend guest. My house is clean. My dishes are done. The weather is nice. Had a good Bible study this morning. Good changes in store for this year – family and ministry-wise. Yes, I am content.
But, I’m not always content.
Most of the time my discontentedness comes from the thoughts of, “Why??” or, “If only…!!” or, “What if…??” I think of the past and think, “If only this hadn’t happened”, or, “If only this had happened differently!” Which in turn makes me look to the future and I wonder, “If that happened in the past, who’s to say it won’t happen like this again in the future?”
I’ll give you a good example: I’m really good at looking at myself and being discontent – mostly where my looks are concerned. My “If only” is: “If only my thyroid hadn’t spun out of control when I was 20.” Which leads to, “If only I’d had good doctors who paid attention to me when I told them something was wrong and gotten me on medicine right away.” Then, “If only I’d been told years before that building muscle really does help you lose weight, whether or not you have a metabolism.” And my “if only”s build into a discontented present. My weight stems from my thyroid. My self-esteem stems from my weight. My outgoing-ness stems from my self-esteem. And it just cycles.
Can you relate or am I completely alone in this?
Then I was handed the book “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. I’m pretty sure this book has changed my life. It covers being content with your relationships, your appearance, your past, your present, your future, your “why’s?” – everything. Each chapter is introduced with a true story about someone she met while a missionary in Eastern Europe. The book is down-to-earth, an easy read, and so incredibly applicable.
I wanted to share with you just a few of my favorite quotes [I filled five pages in my journal of quotes!]. I hope these are an encouragement to you today and maybe you’ll do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of this book!
“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.” -George MacDonald
“…When does a woman become an adult?…We grow up when we see our life and our role from God’s perspective; when we thank God for the role He has assigned us and begin to see our cup as a gift instead of a cross; when each morning we ask, ‘God, how can I glorify You today in my given role?'” -p.61
“As God weaves His pattern into the fabric of our lives, sometimes we sit in a ‘darkened room.’ The darkness seems suffocating. We can’t understand what He’s doing and can’t discover any possible good in the darkness. Yet, if we fix our focus on our faithful Weaver, we will someday know that the most exquisite work of all our life was done in those days of darkness…” -p.152
Though [fill in the blank – what’s going on in your life?] is happening/has happened/looks like it will happen–
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength.