I highly recommend this book I’ve been reading lately–thanks to my friend Janet for recommending it to me! I’ve read the first half so far, and she has been talking about contentment. This is a constant struggle for me (see a post I wrote 7 months ago on the subject, for example). There have been several poignant words of wisdom in this book that have made me even more aware of how pervasive discontentment is in my life. She shares a “prescription for contentment” found in the journal of missionary to Africa:
“Never allow yourself to complain about anything–not even the weather. Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else. Never compare your lot with another’s. Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise. Never dwell on tomorrow–remember that [tomorrow] is God’s, not ours.” (p.13)
These words are extremely convicting and seem impossible to put into action. But keeping them in mind has brought me to repentence often for my envy of others and dissatisfaction with the day God has given me.
Dillow describes contentment as “accepting God’s sovereign control over all of life’s circumstances” (p. 18). She shares a quote from J.I. Packer that says, “Contentment is essentially a matter of accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good.” When I look at it this way, my discontentment is a matter of unbelief. I am refusing to believe the truth: God is sovereign and God is good, and therefore, if my kids are at home driving me insane instead of at mother’s day out, that is what my loving Heavenly Father has for me today. If I’m yelling at them and wishing they’d be quiet so I can go on with my pity party, I am not accepting what the Father has sent. I need to repent and joyfully accept that which He has given. God has decided that the other options (such as a day to myself) were not best–I need to put them out of my mind as well. (I’m describing myself last Thursday, in case you were wondering.)
More to come when I get a chance . . .