Have you ever given your young child or grandchild a shiny quarter with their eyes open wide at the wonder of the coin in their hands? Then, when we are a bit older, we receive our first paycheck. No matter the work, you remember the first time you see a check with your name on it because we are seeing the fruit of your labor.
Something happens as we move on with our life. Suddenly we realize that we don’t have that same joy over our situation as we did when we were young. This is not a new phenomenon. Rather, it is as old as mankind itself.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Genesis 2:16-17 ESV.
Adam and Eve had everything at their disposal, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Seems like they would be contented, doesn’t it?
But then came the serpent who misquoted God when he asked “Did God really say …?“
Ultimately, Eve’s eyes were refocused:
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:1-6 ESV. They became discontented when they looked at the one thing they could not have and desired it so much that they disobeyed their Creator God to get it. Of course the result of that disobedience was swift punishment – expulsion from the garden accompanied by hard work and labor.
Contentment. Why was she not content with what she had? Because she looked at what she did not have instead of what she had.
How much happier would we be if we were content with what God has given us rather than comparing our condition with others, specifically with others who we believe are more wealthy, more healthy, more wise, more … whatever, than we are.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:31-33 ESV
Think about what the Lord endured for you and for me. Then look at what He has blessed you with … even the hard things and know that nothing can compare with what He went through. Praise Him for all things, and you will see that your joy has returned and you are contented in a way that was inconceivable before.
Relax, you know that your Savior and your Heavenly Father know you better than you know yourself! The Holy Spirit will provide that which you need most. Seek first the kingdom of God and all the rest will fall into place.
Contentment comes when we focus on our Lord Jesus Christ and rest in Him.
Father, forgive me when I have focused on things that I don’t have or can’t do rather than focusing on You and giving thanks for all the marvelous blessings You shower upon me each moment of every day. Refocus my attention on You and away from that which would cause discontent and unrest. Thank You for Your love, grace and mercy.