Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Contentment in the air

I'm really thankful to God that in his wisdom and providence, I was born and raised up in Kenya. It is a beautiful country and its people are generous and rather laid back. The other thing that I'm increasingly aware of (having now lived in the UK for 10+ years) is how Kenyans tend to take everything God gives them without much grumbling. There is a sense of contentment in the air. I notice it most when I go and visit really poor relatives back home and they don't spend their time moaning about their lot in life and are usually glad to give of all they have (e.g. cooking up the few eggs they had been saving for their Sunday 'feast'). Unlike these poor relations, I've actually noticed that since being in the UK (where we/I have so much) I have become more and more discontent.

One of the places where this ugly friend has reared its head is in my search for a curacy. Some of you know that for many months, I've been looking for a training post and now that I've found one, I've ironically found myself comparing this new God-given opportunity with the curacies that my peers are in or about to begin. You'd think I'be spending my time giving thanks to our generous Father but instead I find myself secretly battling with questions such as - how did so and so get that curacy? Why Lord are you sending me so far from London? Why is the curate's house where I am going not like.... and on and on.

So I was very attentive last Sunday when our minister said that the passage we would be considering would be on contentment. Here is the passage we were looking at

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?"

Hebrews 13:5-6

Notice how we as Christians are those who are to be content with what they have. We are not to be those who say/think (as the world does) I'll be content when I have that job, or when I look like so and so, or when I have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or when my children start doing very well at school. Instead, we are to be those who are content with what we have.

And what is it exactly that we have? Well if you are reading this, you have life, you have electricity (or some source of power), a computer, most probably a roof over your head, food, family and on and on and on.

There is more though. When in Hebrews 13 we read "be content with what you have" we should also be thinking BIG for that is what Scripture expects us to do. Here I am thinking of Romans 8:31-32 which says

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

So Paul says that if God has gone so far as to give us His son, how will he not give us all things. Dear Christian, fix your eyes on Him who is our all, certain that in Him we have peace, and joy, and life, and hope, and relationship, and family, and the world. Surely this is good reason to be utterly content with what we have and how foolish we are/I am when I believe the lie that my life would be better if...

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