Friday, May 17, 2013

Feeling Discontent?

By Julie Gernand
If only I could grasp this concept these days.
Lately, I have felt quite discontented. I have been unhappy with my job situation, and my husband is currently searching for a new career as well. Because I have been very busy with my current jobs, I have had little time to spend with family, friends, or my husband. I have felt like my inner joy has been leaking out of me during my long, tiring days. I arrive home at the end of the day nothing short of a grumpy, short-tempered, and crabby mess. I often think to myself “If I only had THAT job…” or, “If I just had one more day to myself this week…” or, “If we just made a little more money….”

“….THEN I would be truly happy.”

Think AGAIN.

Paul was an amazing guy. Truly, truly a warrior and the epitome of a Christian martyr.

I wish I could be a little more like him.

In the book of Philippians, Paul writes to the people of Philippi who had been supporting him through his imprisonment.

That’s right, Paul had been put in jail. And yet he writes the following:

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4: 10-13)

Can you imagine being put into a jail – especially one in the days of Paul? We know from the writings of Paul that he was whipped, had gone without food, without sleep, and endured terrible sufferings. Yet, when we hear from him here in prison – probably chained to a guard and given very little physical comfort--he writes that he has learned to be content, whatever the circumstance, for he knows that all things can be done through Christ, who gives him strength.

Whenever I begin to have a “pity party” for myself and my circumstances, I need not think any further than to the strength of Paul. If he can endure countless trials while proclaiming the name of Jesus, surely I can weather my earthly trials. I also need not think any further than to the strength of Christ, Himself, who became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Surely I can weather the storms of this life because He gives me strength.

For, in the end, it is an blip in our faith - an error in our sinfulness - that causes us to become so discontent. 

Who are we to underestimate the power of what we can do when we God works through us?

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:26-27)

We need not worry about the future, dear ones. For just as surely as the Lord makes sure the birds have food to eat, our needs will be met. We may not have what WE WANT at any point in time, but when we trust God with our earthly desires and surrender to him our worries, we can be content knowing that the King of the universe has our best interests in mind.

Dear Lord, Forgive me when I do not trust you. Forgive me when I believe that my ways are higher than yours. Help me to trust you with every part of my life, even when I do not understand what you are doing.

Amen

[Post by Julie Gernand]

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