Contentment

I’m praising God right now because He allowed me to actually SIT under the teaching of Pat Palau today at our annual ladies conference! Why is that something to praise Him for? Notice SIT being capitalized…for the last few months, sitting has been quite painful due to degeneration in my SI (sacraliliac) joint. You’ll have to look it up because this post isn’t really about that. Anyway, after chiropractors and physical therapists…still with the PT, there has been very little improvement. But God blessed me with a pain free day till 2 p.m. this afternoon…only 30 minutes left of the conference. I haven’t even been able to sit for 10 minutes without pain! I don’t know if it is the beginning of true improvement or just God’s blessing for me today, but I’ll take it for today! He is good and He does what is right and I am going to rejoice in today!
Pat’s messages (yes, she is Luis Palau’s wife) was on Embracing Contentment. It was so encouraging. Not because I struggle terribly in this area…well…I DO with some issues struggle with contentment. But the biggest blessing was that it confirmed to me that the peace I have felt since Samuel moved out was not “inappropriate” to feel. I have received looks that said to me that I was less than….something…for not feeling all torn up about my half empty/half full nest. How could I possibly not be distraught?! I’m sure part of it is because he is only 5 minutes or so away, we still have a weekly family night and I talk to him just about daily. But I don’t think that’s really it. As I said in my last post, there is some kind of relief going on here…now I know to change the word “relief” to PEACE or CONTENTMENT. She gave a multitude of definitions for contentment this morning, coming from all angles so we could see the best one for our circumstances. They were all the same really, just worded differently. This definition is the one that jumped out at me.
Contentment is not the denial of my feelings.
It is the FREEDOM that comes from not allowing myself to be controlled by them.
This so much describes what I’ve been feeling lately. Contentment is an attitude of the heart and it really has nothing to do with my circumstances. It is a peaceful heart knowing and trusting God in His sovereignty in my life and the lives of my family. It is trusting in HIS control; not resting in my own attempt at control. She also mentioned how this relates to the area of family. So much of our “happiness” can be caught up in our children: their performance, their attitudes, their walk with the Lord, their this or that. When these issues are less than what we feel is acceptable, we feel as if we have failed. I know I have felt this way. Maybe you haven’t. But we must recognize the fact that our children do not “inherit” our relationship with Christ. We may have taught them about them, introduced them to the Savior and even let them to the Lord ourselves. But their actual walk….interaction…or day to day dealings with Him have got to be “fleshed out” apart from us! Each one of them must “wrestle with God”…so to speak…like Jacob did. They have to be challenged by God to depend on Him for what they need. They have to learn to be alone with God to learn that He ALONE is sufficient for them. They may even have to “butt heads” with Him to learn that HE must always come first in their lives. I can tell them that. I can even live that in front of them. But nothing that *I* do will make that REAL for them. Only HE can make that real for them!! When we realize that fact and have PEACE in that fact, we CAN feel contentment. We may still have reasons to grieve over things that they do or choices that they make. I mean, be real! Doesn’t God still have reason to grieve over US at times? But we can still FEEL the grief and have an attitude of PEACE/CONTENTMENT at the same time. It’s part of letting go, I guess. Being ok with not having control any longer. Knowing that the One IN control is doing everything in His perfect timing and His perfect will. And it is part of that “fleshing out” of their relationship with Him.
Sorry for the length of this post. I just wanted to share while it was flowing out of me. I hope that it encourages some of you as well.
From April 5, 2008
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