Sunday, June 29, 2008

Faith and Contentment

Have you ever been in that place where you know what you want to do and just can't do it? I am not talking about wanting to do something like go for a swim but the pool is closed or wanting a hot Krispy Cream Doughnut and the sign is just not on. I am talking about life goals. I'm talking about knowing what you want to do with your life and knowing that that door has not yet been opened.

Over the past few weeks, I have been dealing with the subjects of faith, contentment, and godly zeal over and over again. It has come before me in conversations, in bible studies, in church sermons, and in my everyday activities. In my head, I can tell myself all day long that I know that I am where I am supposed to be right now and that the doors I want opened haven't been opened for a reason. But even though I know that that is right, I still struggle with discontentment, disbelief, lack of faith, and no patience. I know that everything happens in His timing and not mine. I know that He has control over my life, whether or not I willingly give over those reigns or not. And that should be a freeing thought. I know, without a doubt, that what He wants for me is ten million times better than what I want for me. And yet, I still struggle. I still have moments (more like days and weeks) of disbelief and lackluster faith. I still wonder why and I still doubt my loving Father.

This weekend, in Sunday school and church, I was completely convicted of my lack of faith. Tom Johnson taught Sunday school and talked about contentment and what it means. Contentment, for me, means accepting that you are in a situation for a reason. It means being happy despite the circumstances. It means pressing forward. Now, I think there is a difference between contentment and complacency, but I am talking about contentment. I have struggled with various decisions that I have made and whether or not I was acting on discontentment alone or really doing what was right for me. After a lot of prayer and multiple conversations with trusted friends, I have a peace about my decisions.

Scott Barber's sermon also talked about faith and contentment. His daughter, Caroline, was baptized on Sunday morning and he expressed a desire to speak to what Caroline's life would become as a daughter of the King. He talked about running the race that has been marked for us by our heavenly Father. We often doubt and second guess the road we have been given because we are unsure of what's ahead. He used the example of a 1980 Georgia Football game and how he was anxious and unnerved throughout the game, but how he can watch, with enjoyment, the re-runs since he knows what is going to happen. I think that is how I live my life, to a certain degree. I worry and bite my nails (literally) and fail to enjoy the scenery because I don't know what's ahead. I often lack the faith needed to enjoy the ride.

I also do this thing where I am unhappy if God doesn't give me what I think I want or need. It is as if I am saying that I believe that His son dying on the cross was enough for me, but His plan for my life is not. I don't want to think that way. I want to be content with His plan for me. I want to be able to say with total conviction "You are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after your will." I want that peace. So, I asked for it and He gave it to me.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7

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