I might get to take a trip with my sister someday. I’d hope so! I’ll probably never purchase a whole new wardrobe! I don’t like much of what I see, and my taste is too expensive! And build a little house, well, that’s for the future, and only the Lord knows.
I’m sure you have bucket list things you’d like to do or see or places to go. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when our desire for things beyond our reach begins creating discontent or resentment, then we need to rope them in!
Contentment does not mean begrudgingly settling for the status quo. It has its root in satisfaction. It works from the knowledge that time is temporary, and the future is secure.
Where I am today is not where I will be tomorrow, but where I am today, what I have today, and what I am doing right now is important and valuable in God’s economy and for my life.
Contentment rests and generates thankfulness and hope, trusting in the truth found in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Taking time to measure my hopes and dreams against what God wills for my life helps bring things into focus.
I can choose to go kayaking with my sister. There is no issue there. Except for the fact that I live on a different side of the planet from her. If I let that fact needle me, it creates discontent. However, if I lay that hope before the Lord, I live in anticipation of the day He might grant that wish. It isn’t impossible; it just isn’t time for it right now.
If I pine for that new wardrobe, or any temporal, material item, to the point that I become unthankful for what I have, my heart gets distracted and complaining sets in. I might run up the credit card! My desire for material things potentially leads me to sin, bondage, and unhappiness.
On the other hand, I can be thankful and do the best with what I have, shop wisely, and remember that I am rich compared to ninety percent of the world. Others wish to have only a pair of shoes for their child, while my closet has multiple pairs strewn on the floor.
The same goes for my dream of building a little house. It is a dream I’ve had for years. Who knows? Maybe the Lord will allow me to do that someday. But if I grapple and push to make my dream come true, I lose the beauty of what God is doing now. He promised to give me the desires of my heart if I delight myself in Him. (Psalm 37:4) I’m excited to wait and see how He works that all out!
Friend, we all have hopes and desires. There is nothing wrong with that. But the most vital choice you can make today is to bring them in line with what God is doing. If He has you at the bottom of the ladder, do what is required with a good spirit, learn all you can, and make choices that move you forward. If you are at the top of that ladder and feeling lonely, reach down and pull others up. If you wish life were different, start being thankful for the joys around you, and let the Lord sort the messy parts.
You see, life is a matter of choices and the hand of God. The two go together. I challenge you to start where you are. Settle your heart, knowing today is today, and tomorrow holds potential. Live one day at a time, and lay your desires and choices before the Lord, and see what He can do!
By the way, you’re invited to my open house!