For as long as I can remember, I have done my best to control moments, to take each one captive and determine the outcome in some way. At 30 years old now, that’s been a lot of moments and a lot of days and a lot of minutes and a lot of control.
A lot of control and very little surrender.
So often, when I look back on these controlled moments, I feel empty...or at least unhappy. Each time I’ve attempted to assert control, I’ve only managed to make myself feel more out of control.
I have done a pretty good job convincing myself that I’ll find contentment once my circumstances allow contentment instead of LEARNING what it means to be content. Right now, God is stirring up this question in me:
How can I be content in the places where I am, rather than trying to change the places where I am so that I will be content?
I read this article recently and this one quote has really stuck with me. The quote was in the context of singleness but I feel like it captures so much of my Christian experience. The author said, “Singleness is God’s best for me today.”
Don't I truly believe that God is a giver of good gifts? I can thank Him for the sweet moments that I get to share with friends and family or a sunset or a good book or a glimpse of His kindness, but do I think that God is withholding other things BETTER things from me? Do I believe that the things that I have and the places where I find myself are God’s best for me?
Maybe God’s best for me today is singleness.
Maybe God’s best for me is a life of pouring out.
Maybe God’s best for me is a two bedroom apartment filled with three people.
Maybe God’s best for me is wrestling with where I fit in the church and life and friendships.
These bests press hard against the idea of how easy or great life is when we follow Jesus. I don’t want to admit that I believe those things...but I think that the theology that I’ve taught myself actually preaches those things. I’ve allowed my discontentment to color my image of God. I’ve colored Him as a God who withholds.
And yet, don’t I believe that God gave up all things, even His very own Son, so that I could have the things that I take for granted everyday?
So that I could come before him in prayer and be heard by him?
So that I could sit in church and eat the bread and take the wine and reflect on the mystery of a body broken and blood poured out for me?
So that I could have a conversation with someone in which I model the ministry of reconciliation that I’ve been given and that's been entrusted to me?
If I believe that my God gives good gifts to other people, wouldn’t that mean that He gives them to me too? I suppose that might mean that some of the gifts that I’ve been given, ones which I haven’t treated with much gratefulness...those must be good gifts too.
Jesus, give me eyes to see them. Eyes that see cause for celebration and surrender, eyes that see gifts.
Jesus, give me a heart which holds those things up as a reasons for worship and thanksgiving.