Sunday, January 10, 2010

Contentment Revisited

It isn't something new for me. I have struggled with it all of my life - this need for approval. When we studied contentment in our Bible Study, it spoke volumes to me. I wrote about it here, hoping that I had settled the issue once and for all.

However, as with so many things that I understand intellectually the difficult part is getting it settled in my heart and living it out. I identify with Paul when he says:
"For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish." (Romans 7:19)
So while it isn't something new, it is something the Lord wants to change in my life. I am so humbled by the grace and patient love He extends to me, by the gentle way He reminds me of the truth He wants to graft into my heart. This morning I read this in my devotional "Joy and Strength:"

"If your sphere is outwardly humble, if it even appears to be quite insignificant, God understands it better than you do, and it is a part of His wisdom to bring out great sentiments in humble conditions, great principles in works that are outwardly trivial, great characters under great adversities and heavy loads of encumbrance. Let it fill you with cheerfulness and exalted feeling, however deep in obscurity your lot may be, that God is leading you on, girding you for a work, preparing you for a good that is worthy of His divine magnificence. If God is really preparing us all to become that which is the very highest and best thing possible, there ought never to be a discouraged or uncheerful being in the world."
Horace Bushnell

It is a curious thing that, for me at least, when we do the thing we love it is not fulfilling without the approval of others - without some sort of tangible evidence of its worth. My desire is to quietly walk in obedience, seeking only His approval. I humbly admit that it is a difficult thing. It ought not to be. It is far too easy to get caught up in the here and now, forgetting the eternal things.

I am placing another marker on the path that I might remember to walk in contentment, knowing He is working all things together for good in my life.