Monday, March 14, 2011

Grappling with Contentment

This year, Lent seems very long. Because Ash Wednesday came so late? Or because Easter won’t arrive until April is almost finished?

To me, Lent is a time to sit at the feet of Jesus to learn and grow. Like most moms and great grannies, I do a high “Martha” season all through Christmas! Then I pack away my apron, the tinsel, ribbon, glitter, and manger just in time for the dark days of winter.

In these retirement years, I really try to let winter be a time to rest, to sit at the feet of Jesus, and to practice the better things of a “Mary” spirit.

However, I don’t do resting well.

This year is particularly difficult because I’ve had a number of medical challenges and I have been “home-bound” more than usual. But, little by little, I kept seeking God’s face.
On Ash Wednesday, I thought I heard Him say, “Hummm. How about that lesson you keep forgetting?”

Oh. Well. Un... You see, He’s talking about a lesson I have learned many times, but I forget. Over the last few months, I forgot it totally and completely.

And yes, I asked. As I poured over His Word through the dark days of winter, my heart soaked up His promises and I yearned for more.

*sigh*  CONTENT.
You know what I mean… as in Paul’s acknowledgement:

”I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” [Philippians 4:11, The Message]

Can’t do it. Grumble. Complain. Cry. Whine.
My hands are too full.
My nest is too empty.
There is too much to do.
I'm bored.....
Then, in the middle of a HUGE whine, I happened to notice words in the earlier part of chapter 4. …. “stand firm” … “Rejoice in the Lord always” … “in everything by prayer…with THANKSGIVING” … “and anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” …..

And then I came to that verse 9 !! “..PRACTICE these things;”

I truly am blessed. I have much. I NEED NOTHING.

The truth is that if all of these earthly, material, physical, relational things aren’t enough, MY SAVIOR LIVES!

Join me in thinking on His Goodness with thanksgiving - - - for at least FORTY DAYS!!


1 comment:

  1. Dear Liz,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. It's nice to see reflections from someone who is a bit past summer, like I am. I see you have many chairs here and that two of them involve books. Have you read Mark Buchanan's Spiritual Rhythm? It is fabulous. When I read of your "Martha" Christmas and your "Mary" winter, I was struck by how many of your reflections are addressed in that book. If you haven't enjoyed the journey through Spiritual Rhythm you're in for a treat (but keep a box of tissues handy).


    PS I tried to subscribe to your blog, but I'm not sure I made it. I'll try again later if I find I didn't. Have a great day in the Lord.