Relearning Contentment

Our front door decorated for Fall

Our front door decorated for Fall

Hopefully I am not the only one that needs to have more than one lesson to learn what God wants to do in my heart. One would have thought learning contentment as we adjusted to life in South Africa would have been enough. But no, I need  another lesson three years later upon our return to the states.

A few days ago I was complaining:

 

“I don’t like the flowers all over this couch.”

“It is so dark in here I miss all the windows I had in the other house.”

“This mattress is nothing like our other mattress.”

Suddenly the Lord convicted me as I looked around the apartment and realized there was not one thing we were lacking. The Lord has provided and continues to provide for our needs and even some wants. A tea kettle and drying rack were on the list in my purse as we stopped at a friend’s house. Guess what? The friend asked if we could use a tea kettle and oh, did we need a drying rack. I just thanked her and said she wouldn’t believe it but those exact things were on my list. At another friend’s house I was eyeing this hamper in her garage that was also on my list. I wondered if I should ask her about it. I didn’t have to ask she was already offering it to me before I could.

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My reminder to be content

A friend once encouraged with me the words of missionary Jim Elliot: Be where you are. After more than a month I have embraced that thought. I can’t continue looking back and I don’t have a clue what the future holds so I must live in the here and now.

The Holman Bible Dictionary defines contentment as an internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances. That internal satisfaction comes from Christ. When I am discontent, I am looking to other things or people to satisfy my desires.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. -Matthew 5:6

When I hunger and thirst for more of Christ instead of the things of the world then and only then will I be truly satisfied.

Lord, help me to be content in You alone.

Book Review: Made for More

“In order to know who you are, you must first know who He is.”

So begins Hannah Anderson’s book “Made for More.”

Her writing is gleaned from Romans 11:36-

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.

Beginning, in the beginning, with Genesis 1: 26-28 she encourages women to find our identity in imago dei or “in the image of God.”

“Because you are made in God’s image, you exist to reflect and represent Him on this earth. Because you are made in God’s image, you are made to proclaim what He is like by doing what He does.”

She then gives us three ways we can find our identity as an image bearer:

1) We are made to live in dependent communion with God.

2) We are to learn to live in relationship with other human beings.

3) We are to steward creation the way God does.

She continues the book with an explanation of these themes that always points the reader to God and living for His glory. If you are looking for a light read that answers how you can be a better a wife in 30 days, then this book is not for you. Hannah’s writing is deep and thought-provoking. Have a highlighter ready for words you will want to ponder later.

This book is a challenge for women to look beyond finding their identity in being a wife, mother or career person but finding it in the ONE that gives us these roles.

You can enjoy more of Hannah’s writing at her blog Sometimes a Light.

Living in Limbo

chair at houseOur walls are bare. I find no use in putting up pictures if they will only be taken down again in a few months. We sit on unfamiliar furniture that has been loaned to us by gracious family and friends. We drive one friend’s vehicle one week and then maybe another family member’s the next week. Nothing is ours. We are living in limbo.

The Oxford Dictionary defines limbo as an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition. That is where we find ourselves now: waiting for God to confirm to us where He would have us to be next. Have you ever played Limbo? It is the game where a bar is held and you bend backwards to pass under the bar. I’d much rather be doing that kind of limbo than this limbo.

Yet there are blessings in limbo:

-the provision of a small apartment to rent instead of having to live out of a suitcase at a family member’s or friend’s house.

-a vehicle to drive instead of having to rely on others to get us places.

-the provision of furniture, appliances and dishes from others so that we didn’t have to purchase very much.

Right now those are material blessings but I know that one day I will be able to write of the spiritual blessings of this limbo period as well. For now though my desire to know our future and be impatient with God outweighs the spiritual growth, that “good” that Romans 8:28 talks about. As that passage continues His word tells us His goal is to conform me to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). The Bible is filled with many examples of those who had to wait on the Lord. I pray that I would be found as faithful as those saints of old.

Have you ever lived in limbo? How did you handle it?