An article in the InTouch Magazine by John Blase recently got me thinking. Blase said the abundant life mentioned in John 10 makes many of us think of a “life where everybody’s in good health, all of the bills are paid, the kids are doing great in school, and there’s enough money in the bank for that little getaway to Tuscany we’ve been dreaming of.” But that’s not the abundant life Jesus meant. He provides the abundance every day in the mundane, difficult, and good.
I hadn’t realized it, but Blase described my mindset to a T. If you had asked me where I’d be in five years, I would have probably said something like “debt-free, comfortable savings built up, living in a house, step-kids loving God, a child of my own…”
Is there anything wrong with wanting those things? I don’t think so. Each one is either biblical or understandable. My problem is when I focus on those wants at the expense of the now – when I’m thinking about new floors or a new house every time I clean the old carpet in my mobile home, or when I get upset because everyone around me is pregnant or has a child and I’m not sure I’ll ever have one of my own. The problem is when I’m ungrateful for the blessings I have now.
How do I find contentment in the now? How do I give thanks in all?
I must actually give thanks.
I’m sure it seems pretty simple, but the first step in being more thankful has to be giving thanks – especially for the things that don’t meet my expectations. I need to give thanks for the very things I’m longing to change, because God has a reason for providing them.
And “providing” is the operative word. How I feel at this point doesn’t change that they are blessings given to me from a loving Father.
I must change the way I view things.
My husband made the comment recently that if you view the glass half-empty, then put the contents in a new glass. What do you have when you have a half-empty 16-ounce glass and you put the contents in an 8-ounce glass? A full glass.
This is inspiring. My living conditions aren’t that bad when, instead of comparing them to everyone around me and their fancy houses and cars (the 16-ounce glass), I remember that half the world doesn’t even have what I do (the 8-ounce glass). Wow!
I must remember God has a plan, and it’s better than my own.
I know I have to be careful with this kind of thinking. It’s close to what I’ve been guilty of – what I’m writing this whole post for.
However, I’ve noticed that whenever something is really dear to me, when it causes emotions inside me so strong I’m tempted to take things into my hands, that’s when patience is so important because God has a plan I can’t see. He has a plan better than what I could dream.
And this leads me into the next point.
God never says “no” to hurt us.
God intends the best for us. He never gives us anything for harm, and He never gives us less to harm. He knows best.
Are you content in your now? What blessings are you overlooking in your desire for more? I would love to hear from you in the comments!