Thursday: Dive Deeper

When Jason and I first got married, we lived in a little two bedroom house in Flatwoods.  It was perfect for us since children didn’t come until 5 years into our marriage.  Soon after Max came, I started to become discontent with our little home.
So we built on.
It was a mess.
One problem after another.
I guess we have never had luck when it comes to contractors…can’t win ’em all I don’t reckon.
I kept saying, “If I had more room, if I had more closet space, if I had a basement…then I’d be happy.”
We then moved to the neighborhood I grew up in and I got the more space and the more closets and the basement.
My basement, the thing that would make me happiest in all the world soon became my greatest source of dread.
I HATED going downstairs because of the mess.
Whenever we did go downstairs, I couldn’t get settled in and enjoy myself because I was too busy complaining about toys and clothes and old furniture and how awful it all was.
God gave me what I wanted, right?
What was wrong with me?
My whole life I wanted nothing more than a big, colorful family that consisted of children I adopted.
Children born of my heart instead of my womb.
It wasn’t until we had our youth group at church camp this year, ten plus years being their youth pastor, that God spoke to me while watching them all worship God so intensely, “Jill, this is your heart’s desire.  These kids that you and Jason are shepherding aren’t born of your womb, but they are born of your heart.  They are your big, colorful family.”
God answered my prayer and gave me my heart’s desire.
Did it look like I envisioned it?
No.
Is it just as sweet?
Absolutely.

So let’s Dive Deeper:
In both situations I was discontent.
I had allowed comparison and unmet expectations rob me from what God was doing and had already given me.
I was looking at what I didn’t have, upset at what God hadn’t given me.
In the case of my basement, God gave me what I wanted, turned me over to my discontentment so I could realize that my problem wasn’t the basement.
It was my heart.
In the case of my desire to adopt, God said “Eh, no, but how about this?”
In either case, I fully believe that God only says yes or no to protect our hearts.
In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul says, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.   I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Do you have a basement in your life?  Something that you thought you wanted but once you got it you hated it?
Do you have unmet expectations that is causing you to question God’s plan or His love for you?
Are you allowing comparison of “your gifts” to “her gifts” to drive a wedge of resentment between you and the Lord?

I believe that Paul’s “secret of being content” is to have the ability to evaluate your heart and see:
–where the discontentment is coming from?
–have you thanked God for what He has given you?
–could it be that He is protecting you from something that isn’t His will for your life?
–have you fully given your heart over and trusted Him with the outcome?

It’s not easy.  Honestly, it really sucks.
But remember, it’s the hard stuff that brings the biggst payoff.
And a clean heart, fully surrendered to God….yeah, that’s worth it.

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