. . . Be content with what you have. . . Hebrews 13:5
“Mom, we’re headed outside.” The words are punctuated by a slamming door. A glance out the dining room window shows my children and our black Labrador traipsing into the backyard. Adi quickly locates a stick and engages our oldest in a game of “Keep Away-Chase.” When the game ends, Adi goes searching for me.
Eventually, she realizes I’m still in the house. That’s when I hear the most pitiful whimpering sound. A peek into our family room reveals a sweet canine face peering in our porch window. I open the door and in she bounds. For a moment she’s happy. Until the sounds of the girls playing outside reach her ears and then she’s at the door waiting to be let out again. Only when I let her out, she’s crying to come in minutes later.
My Lab has fallen prey to a lurking thief called discontent. It sneaks in, steals contentment, and leaves a restless void in its place. Sadly, I’m prone to falling prey to this thief just like my pup. Watching Adi has given me a better understanding of discontent. I’ve realized the door to discontent is cracked open when our ideal isn’t being met. In Adi’s case, her ideal is when her pack, which is composed of me and the kids, are all in one place. The door is further opened with the realization that it’s outside our power to change our circumstances. So, when Adi realizes she can’t access us at her own will, she becomes miserably restless.
Whether the robbery takes place depends on our choice to lock the door or allow it to remain ajar. Weary of opening and closing the door at every whip stitch to provide my Lab with a fleeting moment of contentment, I finally stumbled onto the secret that keeps the thief of discontent at bay. “What might that be?” You ask. Simple. I ignore Adi’s pleas for a change of circumstances. Eventually, she’ll accept where she’s at, relax, and lie down by the part of the “pack” she’s nearest.
One day while washing dishes, I peered out the kitchen window and my eyes settled on Adi lying contentedly in the grass. Just minutes earlier she had been at the screen door whining to come in. Now she was enjoying the shade of our large Ash tree while quietly watching the girls play on the tire swing.
As I worked, the words of Philippians 4:11 played through my mind. “. . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance.” As I chewed on this verse, the Lord whispered to my heart, “I want you to find your peace in Me not your circumstances.” The key that locks the door to discontent can only be Jesus.
Lord, thank you for the times you lovingly ignore my pleas for change and teach me to be content where I am at with You. Amen
“But Godliness with contentment is great gain.”1 Timothy 6:6
“Thou camest not to thy place by accident, It is the very place God meant for thee; And shouldst thou there small scope for action see, Do not for this give room to discontent.” - R.C. Trench*
*Tileston, Mary W. Daily Strength for Daily Needs. (1891) Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1994
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