Contentment and Thanksgiving

Monday, July 6, 2020

Have you ever prayed for something and when it shows up, you get super surprised?
That's where I am. Surprised and thankful. 

Let's establish something. I don't treat God as if He was Santa Claus. 
I know God is Almighty. He is Sovereign. He can do what He chooses. 
Yet, He listens and answers prayers. 
God is amazing. 

God is also good. I am amazed at how He cares about things big and small. 

Our family is really blessed. As the Psalmist wrote long ago in Psalm 37:25, we have not been forsaken nor begged bread. God has provided everything we needed. 

I've wanted a few things. I learned to do the best with what I had. So if we could afford swimming classes, we'd sign the kids up. Most summers, I taught them all I knew. 

This summer, thanks be to God, we were able to sign the kids in the swim team. I've been so thankful to God for this blessing. 

The kids are enjoying the experience. They are growing in their skill and discipline. 

As I grow in my faith, I don't see this as an "I now can afford this activity" and that's it. I remember when we couldn't. I remember being slightly bothered by my lack of "want" funds. I remember making peace with our circumstances (Phil. 4:11) as I learned what contentment meant. 

It's hard to learn contentment when you have everything. 

Contentment does not have to rely on an abundance or lack of possessions. 
Contentment is a work of the Holy Spirit inside of the heart of the believer. 

Contentment and thanksgiving walk hand in hand. Where you see one, the other is also right there. The best way for me to know I lack contentment is when I start complaining about my circumstances. I basically put a sit on the table so jealousy can sit. 

Side note. Friend, do not create a permanent spot for jealousy on the table of your heart. Jealousy seems benign but it is a vicious plague. Jealousy suffocates thanksgiving until it completely shuts it down. Jealousy will kick contentment to the curb so it can reign in the heart.

I had to face jealousy many times. I had to call it a liar. I had to get it out of my life on purpose, with the help of God. I hope you do the same. 

Today, I am reminded that God sees me and He cares. God is better than I can imagine. He is all-knowing. He is merciful and compassionate. I am thankful for the opportunity to provide something so life-giving to the kids.

I learned to swim when I was a tween. I didn't stay in lessons forever. I was there long enough to learn what I needed. I was able to teach it to someone else. 

Swimming is a gift. I know God is the giver. I am encouraged to remain prayerful as contentment and thanksgiving walk hand in hand in my life.

Question: Have you ever set a place for jealousy on the table of your heart? What kind of dinner party did you have?