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Content With God

Gratitude begets contentment. It is the necessary prerequisite to being happy where you are, with what you have, with who you are. I stop and give thanks for my home and I realize I’m content with where I live. I rejoice for the husband I have and I am glad to be at his side for the rest of my life. It is almost a guaranteed equation. Noun + honest gratitude = contentment. It is a contentment that opens up its clenched fists and raises its palms outstretched, ready to say yes to what God has given.

 

Are you content with your God?

 

Is that a question that is even allowed in your head? In your church? Among your fellow Christians?

 

Are you content with your God?IMG_6033IMG_5927IMG_5931IMG_1621IMG_0887

 

If we’re honest with ourselves, if we really search deep into the darkest corridors of our hearts, what answers arise when we ask that question?

 

Maybe you’re frustrated with God, maybe you feel like He’s been silent on matters you’ve begged for him to speak. Maybe you’re angry with God, maybe you feel like He took away the thing, or the person, you wanted most. Maybe He didn’t intervene in the way you had asked Him to. Maybe you feel distanced from God, hungry for His face to shine upon you in your loneliness but continuing to feel a void. Maybe you feel disapproved by God – that your actions haven’t measured up to what you think He expects. Maybe you feel unfairly punished by Him, judged by Him, shut off from His love.

 

Are you content with your God?

 

It’s become a bit of a movement, this whole gratitude thing. Secular and Christian sources alike have been flooding blogs, books, articles, and statistics with the good effect gratitude has on our life. An article published on Forbes this time last year lists seven scientifically proven benefits of gratitude, including increased physical health, mental strength, and better sleeping patterns. Time Magazine proclaimed that “practicing thankfulness can help eliminate toxic feelings.” Head to the Psychology, Self-Help, and Religion sections in any bookstore and you’re bound to find a dozen titles pertaining to this concept.

 

The first thing the majority of these sources will tell you to do is to write down the things you are thankful. Why don’t you grab a pen and try it yourself? What are the top ten things you are thankful for?

 

The wonderful people over on on Facebook put together a survey last Thanksgiving on the top ten things people were thankful for. The lists started with friends, family, and health, moved on to jobs, a roof overhead, and ended with life and music.

 

Join most families around the Thanksgiving table this year and some sort of giving thanks will be happening. And these top items will probably be the things being given thanks for. Family, friends, loved ones together, a warm home, tasty food, a good job. God’s many blessings.

 

But where is God in all of this gratitude? Sure, his blessings are there – but where is He?

 

Perhaps we have become discontent with Him because we have neglected to give thanks for Him. Not thanks to Him for the things that He’s given – though that is good. But genuine thanks for our God, for who He is, for His character, for His very being.

 

Maybe our list this year should not only entail what God has given, but for who He is.

 

His continued faithfulness, year after year.

His awesome glory, shining above all else.

His mighty strength and power, greater than the roaring waters.

His relentless and tender love, both gentle and fierce.

His sovereign reign over all the earth and its inhabitance.

His brilliant creativity.

His complete and total goodness.

His mysterious divinity, inconceivable, incomparable, indescribable.

 

Open your clenched fists this Thanksgiving. Open them and raise them, palms faced upward. Raise them high, shout your praise, sing forth your thanks. Say yes to your God, receive Him in His fullness. And watch as your heart settles in contentment before the God to whom all praise is due.

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