Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Gift of Being Content: Jesus

There is one major chunk of my life that is a misty blur.  When I became a widow and the kids and I moved back to the USA I was in full, hyper-active, get through today, blinders on, survival mode.  Everything was overwhelming.  Not just the major questions of where would we go and what would we do, how do I help these broken and bleeding children heal, let alone myself.  These were big enough.  But little things sent me reeling.  The grocery store, for example, for some reason was my nemesis.  The camel that regularly broke my back as culture shock overshadowed my life.  It was often easier to feed my kids unhealthy fast food for nights in a row than to face the dreaded grocery store.  I had to psych myself up, spend a couple of hours walking the aisles and reading everything because not one thing looked 'normal' to me, deciding between things like fifty different cereal options, and go home exhausted body and soul.  Even now I shudder at the thought!  The Land of Plenty was too much for me.

Most of the next couple of years is rather shadowy in my memory.  Sure there are moments that stand out, but even at the time day to day living was a blur.

I look back now with sadness knowing that I missed out.  I was robbed of part of my children's childhood.  Years that I barely remember and will never get back.  Adam in one of my favorite stages of childhood from age three to five.  Aaron eight to ten, the girls in their tweens and early teens.  I have very few mental snapshots to treasure.  But lots of memories of turmoil inside.

Yes, there were understandable reasons 'why', but when I consider what I was missing during that season, the word that comes to mind is: contentment.

Now we're in another transitional phase, but I'm determined to not let lack of contentment rob me of TODAY.  Contentment can be elusive, but is easier to find than we often think.

Contentment is the recognition of a gift.  It's living in the now and acknowledging that today is enough.  That, in fact, today after today after today is all that there is.  It's not passivity, complacency, or being lazy.  It's thankfulness, gratefulness, and a bringer of joy in the NOW.  It's finding fulfillment is what He has provided so that we can walk and serve and thrive out of abundance rather than lack.

Discontent is ungratefulness and lack of trust.  It's what caused the original sin and Fall of Man from the presence of God.  It made Cain kill his brother and Judas betray his Savior.

Contentment is key.  It's embracing Jesus, receiving with arms open wide.  It's taking a deep breath and dialing down through our harried thoughts and worries to receive His gifts of grace.  Today.

It's finding fellowship with Jesus in this moment.  And being at rest.

"We look at this Son and we see the God who cannot be seen.  We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created.  For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels--everything got started in him and finds its purpose in Him."  
(Col. 1:15-16 msg)

Jesus. "Visible image of the invisible God" (same verse NLT)

Read this verse slowly with your senses wide open.  It's beautiful!

"Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace."  
(Luke 1:78-79)

That same Morning Light wants to shine in our hearts today.  Give us peace on the path.  Contentment.  Jesus.

Let's not live portions, or even days, of our lives without acknowledging and receiving His gift of relationship to us.  Today.  

Look at You in all of Your splendor arrayed
Words can't describe just how beautiful You are
Look at You and all Your magnificent ways
I can't comprehend just how infinite You are

When I see You, everything is lovely
When I see You, my whole world seems to change
When I see You, there's no way I'll ever be the same
When I see You, when I see You

Look at You, You're such a compassionate friend
The world's yet to see one as faithful as You are
Look at Your mercy and grace without end
Your kindness is leading me right back to Your heart

When I see glorious, wonderful , Almighty King
You reign in power and we bow before You now
Author of majesty, the whole earth will sing of who You are
Oh, and how great You are

(From "When I See You" by Big Daddy Weave)