In life, it is very easy to become discontented. The things that we should be thankful for become the things that we gripe and complain about the most. We don’t have to look very far to see this type of unrest in our culture, and within our own lives. Just look at sports fans. They win a championship one year, and if they don’t win one the next, they are disappointed. Same in our careers, our marriages, our lives in general. We are restless. We are unsatisfied. We have an insatiable appetite for more. If we are not moving forwards, our thoughts are that we are moving backwards, or becoming stagnant. What if instead of always striving for more, we were content with what we had, and if what we had, we saw as undeserved and provided by the gracious and good hand of God? This is the thought that the Lord put on my mind this morning.
I have been restless. Unsatisfied. Angry. Frustrated. Sad recently. Why? Because my life at the moment is not what I hoped it would be. I want more, and I have struggled to be content with what I currently have in my life. In my job. In my relationship status. In my overall outlook in life. I have just wanted more. And I have struggled to be content.
This morning as I laid in bed, tossing and turning, I heard the Lord (not audibly) but in my thoughts say to me, “Will you tire of this manna?”
It was an odd, but pointed question from the Lord. The reference to the manna made me think back to the story of the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt in the Old Testament, and how the Lord provided them with manna, bread from heaven. After days though of this same manna, the Israelites complained, and asked for something else.
Two thoughts came to me from this story. The first was that the manna was a gift and provision that was undeserved. The second thought was that even though the Israelites were being provided for and sustained physically by this manna, they grew tired of it. Instead of being thankful for the undeserved provision of the Lord, they were not content in what they were given.
In the question that the Lord asked me “Will you tire of this manna” what he was really asking me was three things: a) Do you recognize the good undeserved gracious gifts in your life? b) Will you be grateful and content in these good things? c) Or will you stay in this constant state of frustration and unrest because you refuse to recognize and be grateful for what you have?
Specifically what He was asking me was will you be thankful for the job that you struggle to be present for because it provides you with financial income, a place to live, food to eat, and means to live? Will you be thankful for the season of life in which you are single, and will you learn to be content in that? Will you stop coveting and being frustrated with others because they have what you want? Will you ultimately recognize all the things that you are not thrilled with in life, and will you hunt the good, and see the good and gracious golden nuggets that I have placed within each and every thing in your life?
I think the Lord encourages you to do the same today. Here are some helpful questions to digest.
What in your life can you be grateful for?
What good gifts has the Lord provided for you that you struggle to see as a gift?
In what ways today can you recognize the good and gracious hand of the Lord on your life?
Wherever you are at in life, will you be intentional about hunting the good?
I believe that being content in life begins with recognition, and then gratitude. Recognition of what we have been given that is totally undeserved, but graciously provided. And then open and vocal gratitude of those things.
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Whether you have much today, or whether you have little, rejoice in what you have. This is where being content begins.