Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guest Post: On Contentment

On Contentment
One of the main reasons why I believe we can’t “do Christianity” each of us on our own is because we need each other to stay pointed in the right direction.  Because it is the prince of the air’s goal to steal, kill, and destroy us, there will be times when we need help moving forward in this race we are running. As Rich Mullins said in his song, “Sometimes By Step”:
            And on this road to righteousness
            Sometimes the climb can be so steep
            I might falter in my steps
            But never beyond your reach
Do we believe that we will never be beyond our Lord’s reach? I needed to be reminded of the answer recently when I turned 27. Because I am so prone to wander, on my birthday, instead of being content with the lavish blessings God has poured down on me, I was thinking of all the goals I had set for my life…and how not a one of them has come to fruition.
I would like to share with you the way the Lord showed me that I was not beyond His reach. He knew exactly what I needed to encourage my heart and sent someone from church to recommend a book by Melissa Kruger to me. “The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World” revealed to me the root reasons why I was not content. Essentially, if I would believe in God’s character, His purpose for my life, His sovereignty, and the cross, I would be content and not have to wonder if God was “holding out” on me.
Why wouldn’t God give me something that is good? To give a common example, is it bad to desire to be a mother and a wife? “The Envy of Eve” helped me to see where my perspective was wrong. My purpose in life—that is, the reason why my lungs have breath right now—is to become more like Jesus. Therefore, as Melissa Kruger says, everything God gives me is to make me more like His Son. And everything God withholds is to make me more like His Son.
If I start to feel like God isn’t fair, or that He’s anything near cruel, I have to do what both Melissa Kruger and Dr. Tim Keller prescribe: go to the cross. Once I understand the depths of His love for me, I will not be able to conclude that He doesn’t love me and does not want the absolute best for me. Because there is no greater love than the love Jesus demonstrated when He humbled Himself to come dwell among us, become a servant, and endure mistreatment and death on our behalf.  It is simply irrational to believe that my God would do this for me, yet withhold other good things.
It must mean that in those times of doubt, my definition of good needs to align with His. But in my flesh I can’t be content always. In His mercy and grace, He has shown me that He will take me there if I just ask.

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