Contentment in Gratitude
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. " 1 Thessalonians 5: 18, NIV
While I was in the middle of cleaning my kitchen floor this past week -I'm the kind who does this on my hands and knees with a cleaning rag - I was overcome with such immense gratitude for all God is and has done in my life. Can you imagine that? Cleaning a floor and overcome with gratitude?
What happened was that I was listening to contemporary Christian music -it was either Third Day or Two Or More - and it hit me! I was content and grateful that I had the use of arms and legs to be able to clean, that I had the energy to do the work, that I had a home I could clean, that I lived in a country where I had access to non-toxic cleaning products, the list became endless. I was even thanking God for being able to breathe. What an experience!
You see, for the last year nearly my husband and I have wanted to move to a new home, to have more. Here's what is hysterical and how wonderful our God is to always direct us to what is really important -I lived in a home half-packed up to move but then we decided not to!
We'd had some trouble with this home last year and our initial response was to get the heck out of Dodge. That is always our first reaction I think -to flee. Ask Jonah about that! The realization we came to was, we can have trouble anywhere anytime. Doesn't matter if you're in a multimillion dollar home or a a low-income home. Doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, young or old. We still have trouble.
The difference can be that when we put our full trust in God, obey Him and live for Him -breathe in Him continually, we do not have to worry or fret. We can be content with full gratitude to Him! That is what happened to me during a menial chore. I realized in that moment how grateful I was to God for ALL His provision. For Him. For my husband. For my dog. For our home.
We have started to unpack, put things back in order, get some upgrading done on the house, interacting with our neighbors again, cleaning out, fixing up, etc. I think that's what hit me so hard. We have community here. We have more than most folks in most countries can ever conceive of and yet our abundant material wealth in this country always has us seeking for more and better. My neighbor even said to me this morning while we were both out planting plants, watering and doing general clean up, that she gets some new things and then a couple of months later the novelty has worn off.
That's how we are. As I was cleaning that floor (I'm pretty focused on having CLEAN) I realized how one day it would ALL be gone. That what matters is Jesus and our relationships with others! It's not like I didn't GET that before, it's just that the whole idea hit me with such enormity that I could do nothing but literally fall down on my knees and give praise to our Sovereign God!
He allowed me the cleansing of going through all the trials for nearly a year to get to this: Contentment in gratitude. This does not mean that I won't whine again in the future (human sinful nature), that I won't want anything else ever again, it just means that I finally was able to come to some understanding of what Paul said about being content -whether abased or abound be content. Be grateful. Then realize, eternity in heaven with God and all my Christian brethren, is far far more than I could ever even conceive of wanting or needing. God is so generous that He would do that for us through His only begotten Son. Amazing isn't it?
Be content my brothers and sisters and ever grateful to all our God is continually doing for and in us!
About the Author:
Look for her upcoming new line of dog gear with Dee Kreidel of FaithMinders.com and a book on natural dog health with Dr. Jill Elliot, DVM slated for spring 2006 release.
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