Psalm 34:10 Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing
Proverbs 6:16, 19 These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him. . . A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord (discontent) among brethren.
Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
Philippians 4:11, 13 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. . . I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
1 Timothy 6:6-12 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
I think of tents and think of camping—hard ground and always there are many rocks, roots and sticks that seem to grow beneath my sleeping bag; and bugs, and dampness. I do enjoy a travel trailer—bed support, a small, but inside bath, and screens. I can camp and travel like this anytime.
But this title/headline was found in a book I have which quotes different church signs over the years. Shirley Jones Garmon did a wonderful job gathering and compiling these in a book entitled Marquee Messages: Sentence Sermons for the Church Sign, published by Pathway Press in 2000.
So this title of the world living in tents points to the two points on the continuum. . . content or discontent.
Where do you normally fall on that continuum? It’s a choice you/we make daily; therefore it is within our control how we will feel and act.
Years ago, I was always frazzled. I was a single mother, going to school full time and working full time. Thankfully, I had a wonderful family who were there to watch my son as I did all the activities needed to get us a job that could support us, and that I loved. I was anxious about school, about the development of my son, and the fact that I was home usually when he was going to bed at night. Would he even know me? Would this stressful time of commitment to other areas ever end and I could have more time for him? For me? Could I ever get a job and make more than minimum wage? Thankfully, my parents owned the house we lived in, and could wait for me to be able to pay rent and/or buy the house. But. . . I did not feel successful during that time. It was definitely a time of discontent and anxiety.
As life continued, changes came about as always happens in life, and we were able to fall into a better committed pattern. I had more time to have with my son, attend soccer games, read in the evenings, check his school work, and I grew more content.
Certainly, the more bible study I undertake—not always an official class, but my own exploring, including writing these blogs, gives me more contentment. I now have three grown, hard working children, all successful in their fields, and valuing their own children. I have many good friends, and I realize this is a huge blessing as many feel they have a few good friends, but not that many they can call on at any time. Although I just lost one of my best ones, I still am blessed with an abundance of folks I can rely on for prayer, to step forward an offer assistance if I was ill or unable to get groceries or whatever.
So, I am in a time of wonderful contentedness. And, although not everything is always smooth, I have learned to hand so much off to Him and His will. When feelings of stress and nerves might start simmering, the Holy Spirit reminds me I don’t have to fuss. With a sigh of relief, I think of the issue and offer my hands up as though instead of giving the anxiety, I am offering a gift. . . but it is taken, and I no longer have to fret or worry.
Certainly, there are still goals I would love to have, achievements still working toward, but I am content. That is a blessing and I try to pass on the thought of handing things over, and being more trusting. Anxiety, fear, stress, overwork, allowing yourself to be pulled into many different directions all leads to discontent. One can never get back lost time, and time is one of the vital gifts you have for your family and friends. Lost opportunity (ies) can never be retrieved, and can lead to permanent, significant and painful losses. Your family may totally drift away believing you don’t care. . . they can see what you strive to be doing and it does not feel to them that it is very much a part of them. God has a lot of say about family, teaching them, spending time with them, showing them how to do things, and He reminds us to rest, have one full day of rest with family, and that is worth far more than monies. Do the vital, important things, not the ones that cause you so much stress, anxiety, and discontent.
Spend time with family, praise their achievements, be an example of a loving partaker of what is the most important in this life. Don’t believe the lies and pressure of having to work more, harder, and longer to get. . . Realize the aspects of this life that are truly the most important and spend time enjoying those. Enjoy letting go of that stress in a big sigh, and feel the first fluttering of being content.
Thank You, Lord, that with Your assistance we traveled through those times, my son benefited from having wonderful grandparent times, and aunt and uncle times, and all the while he got to see the benefit of hard work, achievement, and then rest and relaxation. That is a wonderful life lesson. Thank You, God for directing my feet then, and since, and letting me feel the satisfaction being content has brought to me and ‘mybellaviews.’