Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Contentment in Abundance

I'm so crabby today.

My healthy children are running around the house on strong legs making so much happy noise. I wish they'd keep it down.

Their bins of toys have been dumped all over the floor and a big yummy breakfast is still sitting on the kitchen table. What a mess.

My legs are tired because we walked all over Six Flags yesterday. It was almost hot outside.

I'm trying to sort through summer clothes and I'm irritated that some of the shirts still have tags on them. Why didn't we wear these this summer? I guess my kids are going to need to wear two shirts a day...or three.

I'm tired because my king size bed wasn't quite big enough to comfortably fit the two kids that crawled in bed with us last night...they just wanted to cuddle.

I have to drive to the doctor's office to pick up my child's immunization form before she can be enrolled in preschool. It's quite inconvenient.

The stock market is bouncing around. Our "extra" saved for a rainy day holds no promise of being there when we need it.

I'm behind emailing back my friends.

My family is coming to visit this weekend so I have lots of preparing to do.

My 3000+ sq. foot air-conditioned house is a mess. Football equipment, soccer cleats, dance bags cover the floor. All signs of our activities.

My homeschool stuff is not organized.

I haven't showered since...yesterday.

Oh, woe is me.

I wrote an email to my sister-in-law telling her about my "painful" task of cleaning out the storage room.

I used the word "painful" when describing a "storage" room.
The word I used to describe cleaning out a "storage" room was PAINFUL?
A storage room to hold my excess. My extra clothes, extra canned goods, extra stuff.
That's painful?

I'm so spoiled.
I should be thankful.

I think it was Max Lucado who said,
"The source of our struggle is our blessings."

I complain about my blessings.
My cell phone is dying. How will I live?
My child's doctor is across town. I have to drive to appointments.
I'm not thrilled with my wardrobe. But I have a closet of clothes.
My huge house is difficult to maintain.
I'm tired from all the fun I had yesterday at an amusement park. It's hard work to have so much fun.
It's hard to be so blessed.
Why do my blessings irritate me?

I'm so spoiled.
I have so much.

Contentment in abundance.
Why is that so difficult for me?

Paul writes in Philippians
"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 everything through Him who gives me strength." (Phil. 4:11-13)

We have so much in this country. Most often the things that we lack would be considered "wants" in other counties. Food. Water. Shelter. Family. Friends. Freedom. Blessings...and then more blessings. Sometimes our blessings distract us from the Giver of the blessings. Our blessings have the potential to rank supreme in our heart. That's why Paul talks of having contentment in plenty. He knows that those of us with "plenty" struggle just as much with putting our hope in our blessings as those without struggle with wanting more. Our "plenty" will always leave us searching for an anchor just as our "lack of something" will.

There's nothing on this earth that can bear the full weight of our souls. No person...no thing can grant our souls peace. Only the Creator is trustworthy with our souls. If blessings could sustain us, those in Hollywood would be the most content. Their needs appear to be met. They seem to have "extra" everything. Yet, their discontent splashes across the page of every tabloid.

No circumstance will leave us content.
God made us to find true contentment only in Him.

So maybe it's a blessing that our blessings disappoint. Maybe it's a gift to us that nothing satisfies. It reminds us that whether well fed or hungry...living in plenty or in want...only Christ fulfills. Any other pursuit will leave us empty.

Lord, teach me to be faithful with my blessings.
Content no matter the circumstances.
Faithful with that which you have entrusted to me.

And help me to be thankful as I'm cleaning out my storage room...while my strong children are upstairs messing up my huge house.

My eternity is secure. I'm spending it in heaven worshipping the Lord. What do I really have to complain about?

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