It was the summer of 2010 when I put my summer reading aside and began an in-depth study of Psalm 119. I studied to know God...love God more.
Out of that study came twenty or so devotions I wrote.
Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious, frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition. Jeremiah Burroughs
Contentment can be defined as satisfaction, adequately happy, pleased, delighted, glad, cheerful, being at home, peaceful of mind, serene, at rest...you get the picture.
This definition of contentment is not mine but does paint a great picture of what my heart should look like.
Years past my goal had been to find contentment in where I lived, good friends and family living close, close meaning within a day's drive. I wanted kids that didn't fight or spill the milk at dinner. I wanted them to be perfect as I played the Holy Spirit in their lives often making them miserable along with their discontented mother. I wanted to find contentment in my marriage, my circumstances or friends who were always there for me. I was not living as a pilgrim as the psalmist says in verse 19
I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.
I was not delighting in the law of the Lord, making His decrees my counselors. Psalm 119:24
Discontented because I was focusing on the temporal things of this earth rather than first delighting in the Word of God, trusting Him first...I was not at rest.
Over many years God has been faithful to draw me to Himself on a daily basis as I wanted to be at peace and be a woman after God's own heart and content, whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11-12)
Contentment can not be found in the circumstances but found in the Lord who is in the circumstances with you.
Content in the Lord even if the milk does get dumped all over the floor during dinner.
"...pray without ceasing."
In Luke 5:1-16, a leper is healed by Jesus. Sounds like Jesus had a busy day as verse 15 says
"great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities."
But verse 16 tells from where he draws his strength to go on for another day,
"But he would withdraw to desolate places to pray."
Cross references indicate this was a continual practice for Jesus. With increasing numbers in the crowd that followed him and the demands on his time, even our Savior found he needed to spend considerable times in prayer. This reminded me of 1 Thessalonians 5:17;
A few questions came to mind as I studied the Luke passage...
I answered some of these questions by going to God's Word to use as my compass in praying. I pray God would...
- Am I in an attitude of prayer throughout my day?
- Is my day marked by ongoing fellowship with God?
- Am I aware of being in God's presence throughout the day?
- What keeps me from spending time in God's presence on a regular basis?
Praying God would turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, turning my heart to the Lord and not to material gain.Longing for your decrees. Give me your heart O God.(Ps. 119:33-40)
And a desolate place to pray.
- teach me the meaning of His statutes,
- fill me with Spirit so I will always keep them
- help me understand His instruction
- help me love His law with all my heart,
- help me take pleasure in the path God has set before me.
- help me to stay on the path He has set me on.
Another excellent message by my favorite pastor. Motherhood and the Bible.
Women love the BIble.
It's that time of year when the farmer sows his seed. I was reminded of the planting process on my recent visit to the Midwest.
When my dad was still farming it seemed he started working on his machinery mid-March, getting plows and planters ready for the field. Weather permitting, he was in the field sometime in April. He planted corn and soybeans, hopefully getting the seed planted by mid to late May. Then he waited. If he worried if it would rain or not rain, or if it was hot enough to make the seed sprout, I never knew. If he fretted about the wind or possible tornadoes that would take out a crop within in seconds, I didn't know that either. The farmer plants...then waits.
This spring in Iowa has not been friendly to the farmer. The week I was there some fields were full of seed in the ground while others waited. It snowed several inches, then it rained thinking we were going to need an ark. If the planted seed did not get enough warmth to germinate it would rot in the ground and have to be planted all over again. Would it do any good for the farmer to worry? Would fretting, worrying and swearing at the rain make the snow and rain stop? I didn't hear any swearing, but I'm guessing with those conditions it's possible.
I also heard a sermon on Matthew 6:34.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
The point of the sermon was if I am worrying then I am not trusting my heavenly Father who clothes the lilies of the fields and feeds the sparrows, which by the way are a nuisance to farmers. If God cares about flowers and birds He will take care of everything I need. Does worrying add anything to my life or change anything? (Luke 12:25) No.
I'd rather live in peace (John 14:27; Colossians 3:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:16)
I want to trust God knows best whether it is raining, snowing or clear blue skies, and waiting on Him. (Isaiah 40:31)