Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Waiting Game

It's Sunday here.  I woke up at 6:00 this morning, thinking, hoping, praying and wishing that this slight uncomfortable feeling might be labor.  We will just have to wait out the rest of the day and see.  That has been the new theme in our lives for the past two months.  We are in a season of waiting.  Our family has been in a holding pattern.  We have greatly been anticipating the arrival of this new baby, as well as, waiting on God to show us our next steps.  Often, in times like these, I am reminded of how impatient I am and how easy it is to lose that "eternal perspective" that I so desperately need.  I too often get lost in my circumstances that I miss the ONE who controls those circumstances.  It is so easy to want the pleasures of this world; comfort, ease, security, stability, answers, etc.  Is that what I am supposed to be living for?  Sadly, too often, that is what I find attractive when I should find my Savior more attractive; which likely means, the loss of comforts that I once knew, the loss of ease, and the loss of security and stability in a worldly sense.  But, have I really lost anything?  Or did I just gain the whole world?   I have been reminded afresh these past 8 months of living overseas what true contentment means and looks like.  I have been reading "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow and learning so much about contentment.

In an excerpt from her book, she says, "The apostle Paul makes an amazing statement in the book of Philippians.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  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 everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)." "Paul lived an extremely difficult life.  He was beaten almost to death, constantly misunderstood, deserted by friends--Paul's life was anything but perfect and controlled; yet he said, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am."  Incredible!  This means you and I can learn to be content.  Paul followed his extraordinary declaration about having learned to be content in all circumstances with the secret of how (Philippians 4:13).  This often-quoted verse is translated literally from the Greek as, "I am able to face anything by the one who makes me able [to do it]."  Have you ever wondered why this verse immediately follows Paul's bold statements about contentment?  Paul recognized that the source and strength of all Christian contentment is God Himself."    

This is so encouraging to me because too often I am looking for some formula or some way to make myself feel content, when all I really need to do is look to God, the ONE who is in control.  Do I practice this perfectly? NO, not even close!  But, do I need to remind myself everyday of what it means to look to the Controller of all things?  YES!  What seems so uncertain to me is not uncertain to HIM at all.  I need to be reminded of a fresh and eternal perspective, God's perspective.

Although, there are some things we can remind ourselves of when we are tempted to not be content.  Dillow speaks of her friend, Ella, in her book.  She writes out Ella's prescription for contentment; or we could call it Ella's perspective adjustment:

*Never allow yourself to complain about anything--not even the weather.
*Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
*Never compare your lot with another's.
*Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
*Never dwell on tomorrow--remember that [tomorrow] is God's not ours.

Wow, Ella's prescription humbles me.  I need this perspective adjustment everyday.  These are some good points to remember and remind us of WHO is in Control.   Are you looking for contentment in your circumstances or are you looking to the ONE who controls those circumstances, to find your peace, comfort, joy and satisfaction?

So here I am, being reminded afresh that God has already numbered this baby's days.  He already knows how many hairs will be on his head, and therefore, he for sure knows when he is going to be born.  His birthday has already been decided.  God will give me the strength to make it another day carrying this precious gift.  

1 comment:

  1. Great post Ashley. Praying for you! Listen to Ryans sermon from today; you'll be encouraged.