by Joanne Leitschuh
Last week I was speaking with a gift shop owner who was going through a difficult time. I could tell from her tone of voice that she was discontented not only with her financial situation, but with many aspects of her life. She hinted how her responsibilities at home were conflicting with what she was facing with her business. At the end of the conversation, she concluded that her problems were not insurmountable but that she just wanted to "escape from it all" for a while.
Throughout the day, thoughts of this woman's situation came to mind. Do I ever identify with her need to be "released" from certain problems? Do I ever face a general dissatisfaction with the circumstances I find myself in?
Many people grumble about not having enough time to do the things they would really like to do. Others complain because of lack of money, or they feel they are not being fulfilled in their jobs. Stress and the need for approval eat away at them. There is no joy in their lives today.
That seems to be at the heart of discontentment_not being truly happy in the present. Some people dwell on the past when situations were more agreeable. Others live in the future where all the perfect solutions exist and where life is neatly and blissfully arranged.
The challenge each of us faces is knowing that life can be experienced today! How? It is not by having a make-believe attitude where we whistle away life's everyday problems. The answer is reflected in the apostle, Paul's attitude when he wrote, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in." Phil 4:11.
When I encounter a yearning for a change in my situation, I remind myself that God has allowed this problem to occur; He has graciously brought this person into my life for a purpose. He wants me to be content with knowing Him rather than drawing satisfaction from my accomplishments. Being discouraged when events do not develop as I hoped, only encourages me to look up instead of in. Therefore, whenever I feel discontentment creeping in, I ask myself, "Didn't God promise that He will never leave me or forsake me?" Jesus is content to face every situation that occurs. And if He is content to face those situations through me, why shouldn't I? When He is near, what more do I need?
Return to Table of Contents