The past week or so has been a struggle for me. I think that the word that best describes the time would be "discontent." I was discontented with my friendships, longing for more than I was experiencing here in Greensboro. I was discontented with my house - if we could just re-do the bathroom and do some painting here and there and magically create a playroom for the girls, then I would be happy. I was discontented with our family car and the options for what we would buy next based on the money we have saved. I was discontented with my job, not enjoying tutoring or the leadership meetings I attended last week. I was discontented with my fantasy football team (having Daunte Culpepper as your QB in BOTH leagues that you're in will do that). I was discontented with my disc golf scores (despite getting to play on absolutely GORGEOUS days). You name it, I was discontented with it.
This is no surprise given the fact that I had spent very little time with the Lord in that stretch, and had begun to depend on myself and my abilities to make life work (which is no surprise, since if I am not dependent on the Lord, where else can I turn but to myself). I was churning inside, overwhelmed and tired from trying to keep everything together. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit broke through, reminded me of what I needed, and led me to set the alarm to get up early yesterday morning to spend time with my Father. As I poured out my discontent into my journal and read Ephesians 5, the contrast between the truth of God and the lies I was believing became more and more stark. For example, when I believe that it is up to us to save a certain amount of money and scheme to buy the most amazing $6000 car ever, I am not living in the Truth that God, my Father, is my provider. I don't have to provide for myself, nor can I. I am God's son, a child of light, no longer darkness, no longer and orphan or His enemy. I am a dearly loved child of God. Will my God not provide for me in love?
Phillipians 4:13 is a widely-quoted, much loved verse which says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." But it was only a few years ago that I realized that this verse came in the context of Pauls saying, "11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I 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."
The secret is Jesus Christ. Through Him. In Him. When my eyes are on Jesus, contentment is mine because I remember that in Him I have all I need for life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:3). It seems so simple, even as I write it out, but I have recently seen again that it is so true. The secret of being content in all things is Christ.