A couple of weeks ago my mom (Hi mom!) told me I was the most content person she knew.
At first I wanted to say “Oh me?! I’m not content” but I refrained and thought and you know what? I am pretty content and not the complacent kind of content but the kind of content that I can rest knowing I am where I should be. I’ve been thinking and wondering since then, why? I mean I know why, I know it’s the Lord but why? How? and tonight as I was mulling this around in my head the Lord brought me back to eight months ago when He spoke sweetly into my ear “be still” and the lightbulb went off!
About eight months ago I wrote here on this blog about being still. It was something the Lord was teaching me. To be still, to be present, to live here, now, where He has me.
I think today I finally understood the result of being still, of being present. At least what those practices have brought into my life.
As humans we are always wanting, needing, striving for, searching for or trying to move past and get to the next thing. The next level or step. In today’s society we are not content to be still or to be very present either. There is a constant push or urge to keep moving beyond to look beyond what we have or where we are and to be to the next thing.
If you think about it that’s how our lives are set up. We’re born and the race starts. We start school: elementary, Jr. High, High School then there’s college and then another graduation then a career then marriage then kids then we want our kids to grow out of this stage or that stage. We want to be this or do that, to be known as this or be known for that. For those of us who aren’t married yet we keep reaching for a spouse or someone to fill in the void or the void we think is gaping like an open wound.
We push so hard so fast sometimes that we end up in seasons in situations we later regret. We regret not enjoying our kids enough or we regret getting married too quickly, we regret not enjoying our youth or not enjoying the freedom that it brought.
All of that to say eight months ago the Lord showed me I needed to be still. To be present in the life I have. To live every day for Him where I am, in the season I am in, in the home I live in, In the church I attend, where I work, In my family and friends. To serve Him exactly where I am, with who I am right now and in the season I am in right now. To slow down and just be because this right here, where I am is where He has brought me, where He has placed me and until He says different this is where I live and breathe.
I am content, I love my life and my singleness and my friendships and my family and apartment and my ministry and my job not because this is always where I thought I’d be at this point in life but because when I rest in the Lord, when I delight in what He has given me and who He is, He puts a desire in my heart for the things He has for me. For the things He has given me. Not for the things that me in all my flawed human-ness desires but for the things, the sweet things that He has planned for me. The unexpected things that I could have never planned.
This is where contentment comes from. Not from having all you ever wanted or thought you needed but for understanding everything you have is from God and He will love and take care of you better than you or anybody else could have.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11