It has been a while since I have written, not necessarily for lack of things that God has been revealing, but instead things have been busy as we were preparing for our baby to come and more recently traveling 5200 miles in 5 ½ weeks with a newborn baby in a truck camper. We learned a lot about each other during this time as well as ourselves. It was truly a blessing to be able to take this trip, so now that we are back it is time to transition back into life while maneuvering through the ever changing developments of our little baby Lillian.
One of the biggest things that we developed an understanding for was that we really have more than we need, more than anyone really needs. We learned to live, quite easily, in a small space with limited stuff. Of course there were times when we would have enjoyed having other things, but we have a new understanding for what it means to be content. This is something that God has been working out in us for a while; this is just the most recent thing He has revealed to us. Paul in his letter to the Philippians stated the following:
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
In this passage Paul is speaking of a level of contentment that I do not yet understand fully. I have been in need of food and of finances, but I have never been without, though I would have been had it not been for the people God had placed in my life. I certainly was not content during this period; I was scared, but too proud to ask for help. Paul on the other hand knew all too well what it meant to truly need and he learned to be thankful for what he had in all circumstances. I feel that I am beginning to understand what this means, but still have a long way to go. Sometimes I wonder if my faith in God is strong enough to truly be content if I had nothing other than security in Him.
One thing that this increasing contentment has taught me is to slow down and to be thankful for my current situation. Yes, I desire more in life, but only God knows what my future looks like. The things that I desire are changing and my desire has become to grow deeper in my relationship with Christ and to become a better disciple so that I can encourage others and lead them to Christ. My focus has been slowly drawn away from the monetary and physical as God has taught us to be good stewards of what He has given us and my focus has turned more toward building His Kingdom.
I have realized that I was selfish and still am, but less so than I was. I have always cared about others, but my own selfish desires and wants have often gotten in the way. In order to achieve my goals and desires I would simply work harder and longer. I would become more focused on what I was doing rather than taking a breath and trusting in God to care for me while I honored Him in what I was doing. When I lived life focusing only on my own achievements made me loose sight of God. My own selfish desires blocked my connection with the Father. Thankfully God has endured my selfishness and pride and has impressed upon me how much I need Him during both the times of need and in the times of plenty and that I can be content as long as I keep my eyes on Him.
I am slowly learning to be content in all situations, are you? Do you know what it is to be content or are you too focused on achieving your next goal like I was? Do you take the time that God wants to care for others and to lead the lost to Him? We were not born to fulfill our own desires, but through trust and contentment God will reveal what our true desires are and will enrich our lives in ways that we never thought possible. May God bless you today and in the days to come, may He give you strength and courage as you press in deeper and step out of your own way to see what God has in store for you in your life.