Wednesday, May 4, 2016

To be or not to be content, that is the question.

There are many places in the bible that talks about being content in all areas of our life. I have learned this and lived this many times over the years and I am finding myself walking through it again.

 This time I am learning that there is a good side and a bad side to being content.
14 years ago when Jerry and I stepped out into full time ministry we went from having a job that payed Jerry 6 figures a year to making about $400 the first few mths. We had just built a new beautiful house and lived there 3 mths before deciding to rent it out to save money. We needed a cheap place to stay and found ourselves in the upstairs rooms of this older woman's house that Jerry knew from his real estate office. We had just Gabi and Caleb at the time and they slept in one of the rooms that was half full of storage and half cleared for their beds. Jerry and I had our room, another room was packed to the roof with our boxes and the last room became our living room, kitchen, playroom, and office all combined. The bathroom was not only for the obvious but it was also where all the dishes got washed.
Did we love it? No, not at all. Were we content? Yes, most definitely. This was our situation and complaining about it did not change the fact that this is where we were. We were content in our situation, we knew it was not forever and were doing our best to change it. We had joy in the waiting.
This is an example of good contentment.

This week I realized that contentment had settled in with my pain since back surgery but it was not the right kind of contentment.

This is how I see the two being different. This is not a dictionary version of the definition.

See the difference is good contentment is having joy and peace in the situation you have been giving all the while continuing to seek God for guidance on what to do next.

Bad contentment is possibly having joy/peace in the situation but then staying where we are because we are good. It is being so content that we stop seeking God about what to do next. We might get a little freedom from some problem so we forget about it. We might get a little raise at work and it is just enough to pay the bills. There could be some freedom from the physical pain or even the emotional pain and it be just enough that we forget just how bad it was in the first place. We have just enough light at the end of the tunnel that we forget that the goal is to get to the end. Our eyes adjust so well to the little bit of light that pretty soon it seems good enough to stay right there.
That is the problem, God does not want half way for his children. If you are a parent you would never want you child to get half way unstuck and than stay there because this way is not as painful as the last spot. You would want full freedom for your children. God wants the same for you!

Last friday April the 29 I went to my physical therapist in a overall bad mood. She worked on my back and I left there feeling so much better. In fact my mood only went uphill from there, I even noticed that my pain level was decreasing by the slightest amount. I was a happy camper. 

Today is Wednesday, only 4 days later and this is when I realized I had slide over into the bad area of contentment. I was unstuck just enough that I was happy. I was content because it was way better than the last spot I was in.
When I was in the horribly painful place I was praying so often throughout the day and thanking God for my healing. I had joy and peace while I was there but I was always seeking God's word and heart about what to do next. Now that I was finding myself in less pain I stopped seeking God as often. I did thank him for my healing but it was not as much as before. I was going about my day happy because for the first time since surgery pain was not my constant thought. I was finally able focus on more things that blinding pain. 
Why is it that most of us only heavily seek God when our walls are caving in? How much better would our lives be if we sought God with that same passion even when our walls have support beams up?

I want to be content in all circumstances but I want to also seek God passionately in all circumstances.
Let's make it a goal to not be a people that get half of what we are praying for and than drop God like a bad habit.
Let's seek God and find out what is his heart for all of the todays and where he wants to take us for all of the tomorrows.