Monday, November 28, 2011

On Worry and Contentment

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.   But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."     I Timothy 6:6-12 NKJV

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day
is its own trouble,"  Matthew 6:25-34

Contentment.  Worry.  What a struggle for me.  This has always been an area of weakness for me, and so, it sometimes seems that the Lord prepares special trials for me in this area.  A weak muscle, I suppose, requires extra exercise.

I'm kind of an idealist (an INFP, if anybody else is amused by such things).  I have lofty dreams and goals, and I'm not real patient.  

We have been in a state of feeling financially precarious for many years; up until this year, we never knew what our income would be from semester to semester.  Currently, we have been greatly blessed by a one-year position with a dependable and much higher salary than we used to have - but when the year is up, we don't know what is next.  It is a challenging time to find a position in my husband's field - not to mention, his ideology is not precisely popular in mainstream academia.  It seems for us that every door we try is jammed shut.  And yet, this past year, when we had just given up hope for a better year (again) - he was offered this one year position that had not even been made public or applied for.  It has been such a blessing!

Yet I struggle.  I'm tired of not knowing, from year to year, how things will be.  I'm tired of prefacing any statement about the coming year with, "if we still live here."  I like to have a plan.  I like to at least think I know what that plan is for the next 12 months.  I know that no plan of ours is guaranteed.  I just like to have one.  And, I'm realizing to my dismay that nearly twice what we used to live on is still pretty tight.

But I know that my path is not my own.  I'm not here in this world to fulfill my dreams - and oddly, that's a comfort.  It's a comfort, because it means that if I never get my dreams, it's ok.  It's a comfort, because I know that my path and my end are in God's hands, and will serve His purposes in the way that He chooses.  My part is to obey; the provision is His.  With that, I can truly be content no matter what comes - petty discomfort or heart-rending trials. 

Take a moment to listen to one of my all-time favorite songs.  I hope it will be a comfort and encouragement to you, as it has been to me!

Please note:  I am not affiliated in any way with Matthew Smith and don't receive any benefit of any kind from including the song.  It is just a blessing to me and I hope it will be to you, too. :)

No comments: