“Joy isn’t the absence of sadness – it’s the presence of the Holy Spirit”
(Joy in Christ Alone by Burk Parsons – Ligonier Ministries, Tabletalk – Feb, 2017)
Contentment is one of the many attributes in life that I believe most of us fail at constantly. I am one great example of that; I tend to look at my glass “half empty” instead of “half full” or perhaps even “full” when something isn’t as exact as I would want it in my mind. And so often I have been amazed at how loving and gracious God is towards me with this kind of attitude.
Imagine, one person choosing to abort when there’s another crying to God for just one joyful moment to carry a child. Years back I got to watch an aunt of mine who I believed was built for motherhood try over and over to conceive, she couldn’t and to say her heart was breaking would be an understatement. There were no words of comfort to ease my precious aunt’s heart. She would soon adopt a baby girl that she loved like I had never seen before!…This little girl was her baby and she was going to raise and love her as her own. This same baby had been thrown into a pit latrine (out house) from which she was retrieved. Do you get the point? Sadly, she soon passed on after another attempt to conceive.
Back to basics, think about your house; it’s easy to complain about how small it is or perhaps how you hate your kitchen and how ugly you think the countertops look. Or even the color of the brick or maybe the curb appeal. At times it is the size of the closet that we think needs to be larger to fit in our accumulation of shoes and clothes. But we forget about “the homeless that can only dream of being in a warm space for one single night”.
“I am tired of eating the same thing over and over” may be a statement you often say. I know I have and often do say these words. But we forget that there are so many people that would rejoice at a crumb of bread. We forget the one who is not able to eat because they are sick and just cannot. To be able to chew something maybe a distant dream that they constantly beg from God.
“My bed is too small”. Not to sound mean but it’s hard to constantly experience how much people complain about how small their beds are when I know someone out there would be in awe if only they could have what this person has. Now, I grew up in Uganda, East Africa. One of 8 children and yes I always had to share a twin size bed with one of my sisters and at times we would have a third person in there if our cousins came to visit. I don’t remember thinking otherwise. And I knew there were kids out there that only knew floor rugs for a bed. And I was always thankful for a soft spot to sleep. Your “small” Queen Size bed could be another person’s dream bed. So please let’s remember to be content and thankful for God’s provision.
“What year or model is that?” Do you ever get that question from friends when you share the news of buying a vehicle? I know we have. But does it really matter if my vehicle is brand new? Or what model it is? I for one don’t care about those details even though I have a husband that usually checks for the safety of a vehicle which is a good thing. And he is an engineer…So it’s natural for him to be paranoid by that one detail “safety”. As long as a vehicle is safe and can get you places you need to go, I think that should be good enough to not care about used or not. Believe it or not, someone out there can only dream of being driven from one place to another. A lot of people in many countries have to travel by foot out of necessity. Thinking of a Ugandan child in a village, they will walk 5 miles on average to school and then back. Or perhaps a village pregnant woman that dies of child birth because they had no means to get to the hospital. This is not just a story to guilt anyone but realities that people live with daily and should remind us that our glasses are indeed full.
Perhaps the clean drinking water we have right in our homes. People die from drinking dirty water. Or from lack of water. Someone wishing and hoping for a sip to quench their thirst. Again let’s all learn to look at our “glasses full”. Finding the good in what God has provided. And the good in life; the fullness that God has given us through His word, but also providing our necessities. Our lives in one way or another could be someone else’s lifelong dream.