DayBreaks for 3/27/19 – True Contentment

Image result for cow chewing cud

DayBreaks for 3/27/19: True Contentment

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2009:

Growing up on a farm put a lot of images in my mind. Some are pictures of hard work that never seemed to be done, but others were more peaceful and relaxing. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the privilege of watching a cow chew her cud, but I have. They just kind of lay down in the green grass (after having eaten a bellyful of the stuff), transfer some of the grass from one of their stomachs to their mouth, and contentedly lay there, looking around, chewing away without a care in the world. It is a picture of contentment.

You see, unlike us, cows are far too smart to worry about where their next meal will come from. They don’t worry about what they will wear to the next church social or how the payment on the farm is going to be made. They are content just being cows. They probably look at us people and wonder why we scurry about so busily.

1 Tim 6:6-8 says: But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

We believe that we will be content someday. We tend to think that it will happen when we get to heaven, and I’m sure we will be content there. But we can learn to be content now. It is a mindset that comes from understanding the realities of life and this world. We need to remember that we came into the world with nothing and that is exactly how we’ll leave. With nothing in our hands.

I like what Mother Theresa had to say about being content in the here and now: “Being happy with (God) now means: Loving as he loves, helping as he helps, giving as he gives, serving as he serves, rescuing as he rescues, being with him 24 hours, touching him in his distressing disguise.”  What is the distressing disguise she talks about? I think she means people – he “disguised” himself with the tent of flesh, and sometimes the people he created don’t appear very appealing, either. Yet, Christ was content to do the Father’s will. He spent his lifetime touching us (mankind) in our distressing appearance. It takes a mindset that is focused on eternal things to be able to do what Christ did. Why else would anyone do it? We must have our minds focused on eternal things – and people are eternal. What else have you ever touched on this earth that is eternal except for some other person?

Let us learn to be content, not just when heaven arrives, but now, by being like Him.

Prayer: Let us find our happiness in You and in being Yours!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 08/01/12 – Where Discontent Goes to Die

DayBreaks for 08/01/12 – Where Discontent Goes to Die

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”  (Ps. 23:1)

Come with me to the world’s most oppressive prison.  Just ask the inmates; they will tell you.  They are overworked and underfed…No prison is so populated, no prison so oppressive, and what’s more, no prison is so permanent.  Most inmates never leave.  They never get released…The name of the prison?  You’ll see it over the entrance.  Rainbowed over the gate are four cast-iron letters that spell out its name:  W-A-N-T.

“They don’t want much, mind you.  They want just one thing.  One new job.  One new car.  One new house.  One new spouse.  They don’t want much.  They just want one.” (Max Lucado, Traveling Light)

Max has pretty much hit it on the head.  We just want one thing, don’t we?  What I want is probably quite different than what you want.  And what you want is different than that for which your friend wishes.  And when I get that one thing – that very special thing that I’m wanting – am I happy?  Yes.  If truth be told, I am.  That is, until I find out that somewhere, someone has invented a better gizmo than I bought.  Or until the car no longer smells new, or until the new model year comes out and I like the looks of it even better.  Then I’m stuck.  And what I wanted is not as fun anymore – and it creates the beginnings of an ache in me to want again.  Max continued: “If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink or digest, then face it – you are in prison, the prison of want.  The good news is you have a visitor and your visitor has a message that can get you paroled…look across the table at the psalmist David.  He motions for you to lean forward.  ‘I have a secret to tell you,’ he whispers, ‘the secret of satisfaction.  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want’ (Ps. 23:1).

“David has found the pasture where discontent goes to die…as if he is saying, ‘What I have in God is greater than what I don’t have in life.

“Let me remind you of two biblical truths:

YOUR STUFF ISN’T YOURS: Ask any coroner.  Ask any embalmer.  Ask any funeral home director.  ‘Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, he departs.  He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.’  (Eccl. 5:15) 

IT’S NOT YOU.  Who you are has nothing to do with the clothes you wear or the car you drive.  Jesus said, ‘Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.’  (Lk. 12:15)

Are you a prisoner in this prison?  No?  That’s good, if that’s what you think.  But let me pose to you the two questions that will really put a clear vision in your mind, ones that Max posed in his book: “What is the one thing separating you from joy?  How do you fill in this blank: ‘I will be happy when ______________’?

Now, with your answer firmly in mind, answer this: if your ship never comes in, if your dream never comes true, if the situation never changes, could you be happy?  If not, then you are sleeping in the cold cell of discontent.  You are in prison.  And you need to know what you have in your Shepherd.”

It is interesting that David’s declaration of contentedness is not coupled with verses two or three of Psalm 23, but is the logical extension of the first phrase as if saying: “The Lord is my shepherd, therefore I shall not want.”  David’s lack of wanting had nothing to do with what he possessed, except for the shepherd himself.  If we have God, can anything else compare?

If we think that having something will make us happy, then we have a false god to whom we bow.

PRAYER: We are people of insatiable appetites, Lord.  Teach us to be content with “enough” and please kill our spirits of discontent!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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