Sunday, April 20, 2014

Author of Time

First, Happy Easter! What a glorious day knowing that Jesus conquered death once and for all!

Secondly, we had a baby and now we have children. Yes, you read that right, child-REN. I will post my birth story sans the gruesome details another time. Just know, Gideon arrived safe and sound and has chunked up quite nicely in the last three months!

Now to the meat of the matter. In the midst of becoming a new mom, again, contentment keeps finding its way to the forefront of my mind. I find myself discontent with the current state of affairs and wishing for an easier phase of life. You know, the grass is always greener and so on. Not to blame my discontentment on our culture, but isn't it funny that Americans are always wanting more. Bigger and better. Quicker and easier. What happened to being happy with life as it is given to you, with being just another average Joe. No, now we all have to live in mansions, have the latest technology, and be CEO's of our very own prestigious company. Bonus points for yachts, personal islands, and being an intellectual prodigy at the age of 3.

That's not living. That's not a life-giving, Jesus-loving existence.

Yet, here I sit, laptop in hand, baby in a fancy swing, daughter in her own crib in her own room, wishing for more. If we just had enough money that we weren't scraping by every month, I'd be content. If I just had that nice minivan and some clothes from J-Crew I'd be content. If I just had my kitchen redone and yard in order, I'd be content. If staying home weren't such a financial burden, I'd be content.

That's not life. That's discontentment mixed with a lack of gratitude.

Contentment is finding joy in what you have, making the best of the life and resources you have been given. Contentment is serving and trusting the Author of Time because he is the one who knows your story. He is the one writing each adventure, each breathtaking moment. When we realize that we serve the One who provides for us, the one who has decided each person's lot, maybe then we will be a little more grateful for the good gifts he gives.

Would life be easier if we had more money? Maybe. Honestly, I don't know. Mo' Money, Mo' Problems, as they say. In this season of life, Jesus has forced us to see that He is the one who provides for us. He is the one who gives me strength to parent through a tantrum, He is the one who puts food in our cabinets, the one who provides a landing when he asks us to jump out in faith. Radical faith, the faith that causes fishermen to quite their livelihood to follow what many thought was just a crazy homeless man, does not allow for us to remain in our comfortable lives. Jesus asks us to step out onto the water and trust that we won't drown when the waves crash around us.

I am richly richly blessed but I tend to see the trees instead of the forest. The desires of my heart were: Have a family, check. Have a home, check. Have children, check. Have a husband who loves me well, check check check. Have our health, check. Be involved in ministry, check. Do I have my nice minivan with a cool moon-roof and video players, no. Do I need it? Heck no. Do I have money to spare, definitely not. Can we put food on the table and provide for our kids what they need, yes.

I may not have the desires that this world and my sin has instilled in me, but I have the desires that God placed on my heart. He hasn't failed me or let me down. His timing has seemed a bit questionable, but again trees not forest. As we have stepped out in faith, He has been there to catch us. He has yet to catch us in a big, soft pile of money, but He catches us.

You see, I get so focused on my needs, my wants that I lose sight of the big picture. Jesus didn't call us to comfort, he called us to discipleship. Who am I but a speck of sand in the dessert, yet He loved me enough to lay down his life that I would live. Why would I think I deserve more when I deserved death. What grace, that I have a home, that I have healthy children, that I have a husband who loves me. What grace that I don't live in a slum, or a shack, that I have food to feed my children. If only my fickle heart could hold on to that truth. If only the world weren't so enticing with its shiny idols that distract from the true prize.

So we push through, run the race with endurance, persevere and every other euphemism for trudging through life. We do it with hope, knowing that we were made for so much more than this. We keep going, storing up treasures in heaven where moth and rust can't touch them. We die to ourselves daily, hourly, and every single stinking minute if we have to, knowing that Jesus has called us His beloved. As the pastor said this morning, we get up, get dressed, and get out because life isn't over yet. God still has work to do! Stop wasting time worrying about what you wish you had and use what God has given you to do the work He called you to do. Maybe if I type that out fifty times I might remember it tomorrow when I'm thinking about all those things I wish I had.

I'll end with this, my prayer:
Proverbs 30:7-9
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die:
    Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
    give me neither poverty nor riches;
    feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
    or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.