What’s causing discontentment for you today? Is it something you lost? Is it something you don’t have? Does it stem from something you fear you might lose or might never gain?
For me, when discontentment comes, it’s too easy to focus on what isn’t instead of WHO IS.
When I read or hear about discontentment, I often think of the Exodus account of the ancient Israelites traveling through the desert after God made it possible for them to escape harsh slavery in Egypt. They grumbled in the desert, unappreciative of God’s provision. They were frustrated to the point to where returning to Egypt didn’t seem a bad idea.
I’m not so different from the Israelites. My soul can grumble and I find many paths exist back to my own personal Egypt, for instance, returns to self-reliance, hardness of heart and spiritual apathy related to what I think should or shouldn’t be. It’s in those times I discover I’m telling God that He isn’t enough. I’m reminded I need to be emptied out and He needs to be poured in.
God Is Enough
In the desert wilderness, The Israelites were fully dependent on God. Discontentment was only allowed because God made sure they weren’t dead. He provided manna and quail, a source of food that literally rained down from the heavens. Without the manna and quail, they all would have perished without a functioning brain to grumble. There was no good deed they brought to the table that would have provided for and saved any of them. Left to their own devices, they constructed a golden calf to worship instead of the one true God. How much better can we do today when an excess of material and pleasure competes for our attention? We have to remember God is always enough.
God gave commands regarding the manna he provided. Each person would get a proportionate share and they were to dispose of any remains of the daily supply (except for the day preceding the Sabbath). This demonstrated the Israelites dependence on God once again and how only He was able to give what they needed for their purposes on that day alone. They were to be content.
This arrangement did not allow much room for the Israelites to look ahead to upcoming days and plan their own provision. We should take the same course, remembering that no future days are guaranteed and how worthy God is to receive our best attention today.
God’s Provision Will Be There
On the dawn of the next day, God always came through with new provision. I can’t help but wonder how the story would have gone if the Israelites were able to fully appreciate the privileged position they were in and recognize they walked with the God of the Universe on a daily basis, completely in the bulls-eye of God’s blessing.
I’m content to know I have the opportunity to realize this each day.
How about you?
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” – Exodus 16:4
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:25-34
“The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” – Proverbs 19:23
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” – Philippians 4:7
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” – 1 Timothy 6:6
“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.” – Hebrews 13:5