Hebrews 4:16

Let us then come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Contentedness.... Thankfulness... Peace

Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I speak in respect of want:for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith, to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed bot to be full and to be hungry, bot tho abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Contentedness, that elusive word which brings a pang of envy to my heart. It isn't supposed to do that. We are supposed to find hope in those words, a goal, a reachable end.... but what do you find?

Does being content equate continual gratitude?
Does being content require a state of peace?
Does being content say "I am thankful in all things?"

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary says the literal meaning for content is : held, contained within limits, hence quiet; not disturbed; having a mind at peace; easy; satisfied, so as not to repine, object or oppose.

Content comes from the Latin contineor meaning to be held.

As a verb(action word) the the translation is: to satisfy the mind, to make quiet, so as to stop complaint or opposition.
As a noun(naming word)the translation is: rest or quietness of mind in the present condition, satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint, opposition, or further desire , and often implying a moderate degree of happiness.

Content also refers to the things which are being held. ie: the contents of this box are being held by the box.

Contentedness.... add the suffix, -ness, and we find that it is the state of being content.

State of being? What does that represent in my daily life? Have I given control of my being to the One who is the only truth in life or have I taken control and formed my world with the state of my words...the state of my contents... what am I holding on to?

Acts 17:28 tells us that In Him we live and move and have our being.

Our state of being comes from our life in him.
Our content, filled with His life, should reflect our being .... our state of being In Him.

Our contentedness is a result of a life of passivity to our wants and an open embracing to the desires which only He has in mind for us.

Do you ever consider the path your are walking to be your own? Do you wonder if you had made a different choice would you be in a different place?

Yet, contentedness is not just a resignation to be held, to be quiet and and satisfied it is a place of humility before the King of our hearts which calls us to be at rest in Him.

We are are told to Be still and Know that He is the Lord.(Pslalm 46:10)

Be content... Be assured... Be satisfied.. Be at rest... Be at peace.

Rest in Him. Where do we rest? In Him.

What is that? Where does that contentment come from? How do you find rest?

Psalm 121:1-3,5 " I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth. He will not suffer my foot to be moved: he that keeps me will not slumber. .... the Lord is my keeper: the Lord is my shade upon my right hand."

I remember watching my babies fall asleep in my arms after nursing. The sweet look of contentment radiated upon their cherubic faces. The blessed satisfaction of the sigh which escaped as they finally gave way to rest. The deep and unlabored breath which ensued as they drifted to a place of stillness, completed in their fullness. Their desires are satisfied and they have no wants, needs, or urgency other than to be still. To allow their bodies to take in the nourishment of food and rest so that growth occurs. Nestled so perfectly in the center of my core with my arms entwined about them, holding them... keeping them safe.

Consider for a moment where we belong in Christ. He is seated at the right hand of God. He is there on His Throne for all of heaven to see... exalted. Isaiah writes about this in Isaiah chapter 6. He describes the way the angels, the created heavenly beings, surrounded the King of Kings crying Holy, Holy,Holy is the Lord of hosts. Isaiah saw the glory of God filling the earth. In fact, he said...the whole earth is filled. Then he says... "Woe is me, I am undone."

What a place to be ... undone.

Where are we seated.. Ephesians 2:6 tells us that we are seated in heavenly places In Christ Jesus. We are IN Christ, we are settled in the bosom of his love, entwined in the embrace of his arms. His nail scarred hands cradling the focus of his love, his death, his sacrifice in a grip which can not be unfurled.

Do you realize nothing can separate you from His love.... neither height, depth, nor any other creature can separate us from the Love of God, which is IN Christ Jesus.

Where are we seated? IN Christ.

I feel like Isaiah... undone. Completely amazed at my inability to move from that knowing I am captivated by the lover of my soul, the one who nourishes me from the center of his core. The living water which flows and fills and answers my thirst. I breathe the deep sigh of contentment at this knowing. I find my breathing slows to the rate of shallow passive, yet life filling inhalation. I am falling to a place of rest. A place where my healing comes and the growth which changes me from glory to glory.

On my knees I can choose many paths. One of contention.. a place of struggling, strife, a violent effort to obtain something. A place that we must go at times to take back that which has been taken from the Kingdom of God.
Or.. I can choose one of contentedness... a place of rest, relying on the only source which has potential to grow new life in my own.

Or.. I can choose the humble role of a servant, bowing at the feet of my King realizing my worth lies solely in Him.

Or.. I can come weeping, lamenting my own choices;broken before the originator of mercy.

Or..I can come grateful. Thankful that the blood covers me.

Or I can come receiving. Knowing that it is in Him that my fullness is complete.

or.... can I come to this place of resting, of satisfaction..... content in all of the above.

Being content doesn't imply a lack of desire for something more, nor can you equate it with an impassivity which feigns the will to fight. Contentment relies on the author and finisher of our faith, His truth resplendent in our images which reveals the Glory which spills from heaven. Do you see? Can you know? Truly... The heavens can not contain him.. .the Earth and those inhabiting this celestial sphere are recipients of that which heaven's borders must break with the weight of.

Contentment in Christ, alone. This truth makes contentment in this life attainable.

It changes the view of our perception so that when we look at those temporal things in our direct field of vision, the circle of our influence here, we look with Kingdom Eyes.

Contentedness... rest in Him. Be still and Know... Know Him. Know the source of your satisfaction. In His presence there is peace, life, overflow and wholeness.

I invite you to go to "A Holy Experience" and read about Ann's new book. "One Thousand Gifts."

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