WHEN ALL YOU SEE IS UNMET DESIRES
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. -Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Being content. I don’t think there has ever been a time before this that God has really screamed (not literally) for me to be still, know that He is God, and to be content with where I am and with what I have at this very moment. It’s a lot easier said than actually done.
I don’t know about you, but if you’re anything like me (and almost any other human on this earth), you have plans for your life, desires to fulfill, and places to explore. When those plans don’t work out, those desires go unfulfilled, and all of the places are without adventures we become very unsettled. Our hearts begin to doubt and even grow hardened when what we anticipate is no longer.
This leads us to question God. Why is this happening to me, Jesus? What is my purpose? Do I have a purpose? Where did I go wrong? What’s coming next? Why can’t I have answers to my life?
As I prayed each and every one of these questions it struck me that my life is not actually my own. God made me, predestined me for great works, and knows exactly where He is leading me. I know nothing. I can’t foretell the future. I can’t see what’s behind the next door. Only God has that power.
And He wasn’t done teaching me after that epiphany. What’s next to come was another question, from me. “So, how do I be content, Lord?”
God wants us to be content so that He has us in a position that allows Him to speak to us without distractions, unless of course we create distractions (that’s a whole other topic to discuss, though). He wants all of us, even in this very moment, to draw near to Him at all times- especially during those hopeless moments.
Remember that God knows exactly how you feel. He felt it all while He manifested Himself on earth through His One and Only Son, Jesus. So, He gets it.
Being content is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight or even over the next week. I don’t believe that there is some 12-step program that will get us to be content or some prayer we pray that will make us content. What I do believe is that to be content we, first, need patience. I mean, isn’t that part of what being content is all about? Patience will slow our minds, our actions, and allow us to be still in order for us to actually be aware of God in our moments. This leads me to think that our perspective on our situation is also important.
How we view the moments we are in, these doubtful and hopeless moments, is key to our contentment. If we view them as we have (doubtful and hopeless), we will drudge our way through day after day finding no light at the end of the tunnel. Instead we must look at these instances as being allowed by God, even if He didn’t cause them. 1 Peter 5:7 illustrates for us that God cares for us so much so that He commanded us to cast our burdens onto Him. No matter what we see, we must choose to accept the situation as if it were coming from God knowing that He cares for our well-being and that He is sovereign through whatever may come.
Being content will not happen without total submission. These situations are usually not fun or sweet. So, don’t express that to God. Rather, be truthful and sincere expressing how you really feel to God:
“This is painful, Lord, and I’m not sure why I must go through this but I choose to submit to You because You are trustworthy, faithful, and loving. I’m accepting this situation and I will persevere until whatever it is You want to accomplish in me is fulfilled.”
If we let go and submit like this to God, we are allowing ourselves to be open to His plan, His voice, and His timing. This is exactly what we want! We can take heart in the fact that whatever He has planned for whenever He chooses to unfold it we have hope in knowing that it will be something good and something that will bring Him glory.
Your waiting period is hopeful because something great will be coming soon. So, be content in this moment and seek what God wants to teach you and what it is that He wants to prepare in you.
Be encouraged. Be righteously submissive. And seek Him moment after moment.