By Jamie Wiechman
A few years ago, it was brought to my attention that I had a lot of discontentment. I’ll be honest: that feedback stung a bit. I was in a season where few things in my life were looking as I expected them to, and I was struggling with a lot of disappointment. On top of that, I had some God promises that had not panned out yet.
So, yeah; I was a bit discontent.
I had no quick fix for making that feeling go away. I could ignore it or hide it, but I knew that would be ineffective in the long-run. The best strategy I knew was to bring my disappointment and discontent to God, and see what God would do with it.
Fast forward two years.
Numerous of the issues I found disappointing a few years ago are still part of my reality today. They haven’t gone away as much as I wished and prayed they would. (Though, to be honest, changes are on the horizon.)
In my experience, the hope of a future change can actually serve to increase discontent with the current situation even more. The thought can be, “Once I get there, everything will be better…”
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’ve chased that carrot long enough to know: that attractive thought is just not true. While you might experience some new excitement and new possibilities “once you get there,” you really just trade one set of challenges for another. Such is life.
Maybe I sound pessimistic. Maybe I am. It’s just that I’ve become aware that at least some of my discontentment has grown out of my own unmet expectations. I don’t want to be pessimistic; I want to be realistic. If I can’t enjoy the life I am already living, a change in scenery is only going to offer a distraction: a short-term solution at best.
This Scripture keeps coming into my mind lately:
Godliness with contentment is great gain. If I have food and clothing, with these I will be content.
1 Timothy 6:6,8 (NIV)
These verses play in my head to the sweet sound of my kids’ young voices when they were little. Apparently, I wanted to teach them about contentment, so I had them memorize this verse. Fifteen years later, I’m the one learning the lesson. Funny how that works.
Here’s the thing: life holds disappointments. We live in a broken world with an enemy that steals from us. Sometimes that reality will catch up with us, and maybe even knock us over. That was me two years ago. Knocked over. Unable to see the good in my life through all the hard surprises.
But now, the verses from 1 Timothy comes to mind, not as a reprimand, but as an anchor. It doesn’t sound to my ears like, “Jamie, you better get your act together and be grateful.”
It sounds like a kind reminder: “Jamie, you have enough today to already be content. You don’t have to wait for things to change or something new to pan out. Today, you are provided for. See: you have food and clothing. It is enough.”
You know the funny thing? It actually is.
(Especially since I have much more than just food and clothing!)
Are there some other things I want? For sure.
The Lord has my list.
And I have some ability today to trust that the God who was able to shift my internal world from discontentment, discouragement, and bitterness to contentment (or at least a good start on it) in only two years can surely handle the rest of my list.
The future belongs to the Lord. Today is where the gift is. I’m so grateful the Holy Spirit took the time to help me discover that.
This insight makes me think that Jesus is content already, too.
Sure, the Redeemer of the world has lots of changes to bring about, but in the meantime, Jesus is satisfied to be with me. And you. Even if we have parts of our minds and hearts that still need quite a bit of work.
Jesus is content with us today.
Yes, it’s true.
That’s the good news of the Gospel: Jesus already brought about our redemption. We’re just walking it out. We’ve been declared victorious already.
Feel free to breathe this in and believe it: Beloved, Jesus is satisfied with you today.