This morning I am anything but content in spite of Pastor Greg’s excellent sermon on Sunday! I hate to confess that, but it’s true. It’s not a case of the “Mondays” although I’ve been there a time or two. No, this case of discontentment has its roots, I think, in time management issues. Do any of us ever have enough time???
There’s always something deeper that’s going on when we’re discontent, you know? It’s taking the time to discover what that ‘something’ is that’s hard. We have stuff to do, places to go, and people to see!! Who has time for introspection!? In the case of the Israelites (Ex. 16:1-3) their discontentment is something as basic as physical hunger. And, to my way of thinking, the reality of their situation – now that it’s kicked in – has reared its ugly head. They are out in the middle of nowhere!
“Contentment is based on God’s promise,” Pastor Greg told us on Sunday. He was speaking, of course, about the promise given to us in Hebrews 13:5, which is a quote from the time when Moses encouraged Joshua, right before Joshua was to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Twice Moses says to Joshua, “For the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6, 8).
It’s a powerful promise, isn’t it? But can we trust it? (Did I just say that????) Ok, confession time again: It’s been my experience that trust is a constant battle. I want to trust the Lord. Most of the time I do. But I can’t always pull it off. Why? Because I also frequently want things to happen MY way. And I don’t like to wait.
For the Israelites the issue they focused on was a basic physical need – food. The power of the belly usurped any other thoughts. It wouldn’t be the last time they veered off course, would it? Our physical wants and needs often become our top priorities, don’t they? But true contentment, to my way of thinking, comes only when we place our spiritual health on the top rung of the ladder. And that comes down to relationship – specifically, our relationship with Jesus. Without him there can be no hope of real contentment.
So, I’m going to take a break now and ask Jesus to help me with those “time” issues. And you know what? Just in the time it took me to type those words, I actually feel better; surrendered. Content. (Sigh) Prayer is so wonderful, you know? It never fails to remind me: He’s with me.