"And be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" Hebrews 13:5
Let's talk a little bit today about being content. I think it is not in our human nature to be content. It is something that most of us need to work at. It can be difficult to practice being content without becoming complacent and lazy. We should strive to always do better and be better and have better. But, at the same time we have to be careful because if we are constantly setting our vision on the future- who we want to become, what we want to have, what we want to give, we can easily sacrifice the present. This is kind of like how our kids write out their wish lists at CHRISTmas time. They get so focused on the things that they want, that they miss out on enjoying the things that they already have. What's even worse is that they (we) have set themselves up to be disappointed if they don't get everything on "the list".
We don't have alot of extra money after we pay our bills every month. Some of that is because we have made some bad choices in the past. Some of it is because of our current economy. Some of it is because we have chosen to be a one income family. Whatever the reason, we don't have a fancy brick house. We shop at Goodwill and clearance racks. We carefully plan our meals and snacks. I plan errands to get the most out of my gas money. We have made an effort to become less wasteful. We cannot always find the money to go on vacation. I have at times looked at others' lives and thought to myself, "I wish we could build a nice house like that."or"I would love to go to the mall every weekend and buy clothes without a second thought." My pride is hurt when we cannot afford some of the things that other people can. But, I do know that "things" will not make you a better person. They might give you a feeling of temporary happiness, but they will not enrich the value of your life. Things can make your life easier, but they cannot make your life better.
I realize, that having a nice house is well, nice, but, it is not as important as having a nice home. And you know what? My kids don't mind that some of their clothes come from Goodwill or "Once Upon a Child". It is not important to them what our bank account looks like. What matters is that at the end of the day they lie down to sleep in a warm bed, with a full belly, and a happy heart. We don't need anything we don't have. We do have unforeseen needs that arise just like everyone else. But, we know that just as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, God will provide for that need perfectly. I also know that if you look at your own life, whether or not you have a nice brick house, two incomes, a nice savings account, you shop at the mall, you can see that there are things you don't have that others do have. Things that you want. Our lists may look different, but we all have a wish list.
I know people who obsessively worry about money. It consumes them to a point where it is difficult at times to be around them. It makes them sick at their stomach when something unexpected comes up. And it's not because they don't have the money in savings, it's just worry about the "what if's" that the future might hold. This worry robs us of the joy of trusting God and being pleased to witness His wonderful mercy and grace! It let's Satan sneak in the door of our heart and put distance between us and God.
So, I am going to make an effort to focus on what I have. I am going to not focus so much on what we might have later. When tomorrow gets here, I will enjoy that. But for today, I am going to be grateful for the time I have with my kids and my husband. I am going to be grateful for our cozy, safe, happy home. I am going to be grateful that I can be the one to teach my children. I am grateful that we have enough to eat. I am grateful that I have friends who love me. I am grateful for Freddie's job. I am grateful to live in the United States of America. I am grateful that my children have their grandparents. I am grateful for everything that God has given me and everything He has spared me from.
"So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."Matthew 6:31-34