Well, I don't even know if she reads my blog...but if she does, she'll know this post is for her.
We always end up having these late night chats, she and I. It's usually online. It' usually when I should be sleeping. It's usually something insightful. And she usually doesn't even know it.
She is wise beyond her years.
Tonight I tell her that I have been where she is. I tell her that as I look back on my 25 years, I wish I would have slowed down to enjoy each phase. No, not even necessarily enjoy...because life is hard and messy and frustrating and painful and tragic...and sometimes you just can't find joy. There is a time to weep.
I wish I would have made the effort to find contentment in each stage of my life.
It's hard concept to grasp in a culture that finds little to no value in anything that's not instant and/or self-gratifying.
To me, it's not so much a thing or a feeling... or even a state-of-being.
Contentment has a name: Jesus.
So, what I really should have said to this sweet girl is "I wish I would have looked for Jesus in every stage of my life".
I should have looked for Him in each person I loved and in each person I despised. I would have seen Him in both.
I should have looked for Him in every situation - good and bad. I would have seen that He was waiting to show up and prove His faithfulness.
I should have looked for Him in the laughter and in the tears. I would have seen that God has a plan to bring us hope, and that sometimes devastating things happen anyway. No matter the circumstance, though, He stays the same.
I should have looked for Him in the dark places, where I thought surely He was nowhere to be found. I would have seen that sometimes that's where I can see His face the most clearly.
I should have looked for Him when all was right in the world, when I didn't think I needed Him so much. I would have seen that he is the giver of everything good and perfect; He is the Alpha.
I should have looked for Him when I thought He was disappointed in me. I would have seen that I am His and that nothing can separate us.
Let me make one thing clear. Contentment is not the same thing as ignorance. It doesn't mean that we turn a blind eye to all the suffering in our lives or all the disasters raging around us. It means we accept the pleasure and the pain, the blessings and the trials, for what they are. It means that we rejoice in knowing the One who ordained each moment before there was time.
I should have looked. I would have seen.
1 Tim 6:6-7 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it
I would have seen Him.
Psalm 119:57, 114 You are my portion, O LORD...You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word
I would have found Contentment Himself.
Philippians 4:12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.