Day 5 - Contentment
Halfway there. 5 days down, 5 more to go. Already, I am seeing the fruit of this 10 days of repentance. Like splashing cold water on my face, I feel spiritually refreshed and awake. I also feel more aware and sensitive to God's presence throughout my day and am less focused on myself. What a wonderful, joyful experience this has been! I am going to have to make this an annual event at a minimum.
I hope some of you got to enjoy the great interview with Dr. Henry Blackaby that I posted yesterday. Maybe it will spur some of you onto intentional times of repentance in your own life. By the way, if you are doing these days of prayer and repentance with me, I'd love to hear from you about what God is doing in your life. Leave a comment so others and share in the joy of God's work!
My prayer time today began with one word: jealousy. At first, I thought I might have "heard God wrong" or possibly made it up. Didn't really think this was something I needed to deal with. There wasn't immediate conviction of specific sins in my heart when I thought about jealousy. I actually couldn't think of anyone I am jealous of at the moment. So I simply began the 2nd step in my process of listening to God and started searching the Bible on the subject of jealousy. Maybe He would speak to me more through His Word.
My study began by looking at some notable jealous people in the Bible. Two big ones are Rachel (Gen 30) and Joseph's brothers (Gen 37). Both were jealous of a sibling because he or she had something they desperately wanted. In Rachel's case it was children and in the brothers' case it was Joseph's favor with their father. As I began to think about things I desperately want in my life that others have, it became apparent that there is in fact jealousy in my heart. Whether it is jealousy of material possessions (clothes, money, nicer couches) or jealousy of situations (other wives whose husbands don't travel), the root of it all is a dissatisfaction with my own circumstances. My $150 couches and 20 minute skype calls to my husband just don't seem good enough for me.
This immediately drew me to 1 Timothy 6:6-8: "But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content."
Philippians 4:11-13 popped up as well: "For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
I repent of being discontent with and ungrateful for what I have, whether tangible or intangible, and always longing for more.
How often I complain with my words or with my heart and allow my focus to be on what I don't have, rather than the over abundance of what I do have. May my heart not just turn to mere contentment, but gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving. The truth is, I am blessed beyond belief! I live like a queen compared to most of the world. I have rarely ever been in true need, yet somehow, I can always name the things I still don't have quicker than what I do have. Lord, change my heart and let it be said of me that "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am in." In need or in plenty, help me to always be grateful.