Settling back into the U.S. after those two years, in considerably more constrained circumstances, the weariness in my heart deepened.
Thanks be to God! The Lord’s voice finally came in loud and clear. After a 15-year illustration, I began to see the point. In a PWOC group studying “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow, I saw that I had been trying to cast my anchor ahead, into shifting sands, waiting for the circumstances in my life–promotions and assignments–to line up just so, to satisfy me, to fulfill me, to make my life good. When every one of them fell short in some way, I had been left feeling betrayed, adrift, and exhausted.
The only ground that can hold our hopes is our Lord Jesus Christ; He Himself is the rock in which our anchor holds. Truly the song says, “all other ground is sinking sand.”
The apostle Paul learned the truth by experience, and the Holy Spirit led him to share it with us in Philippians chapter 4. “. . .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. . .I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:11-13). Contentment is not natural to the flesh, but it can be learned.
We must first know our Lord, that He is able, wise, good, and loving. We must truly believe that nothing in our lives comes our way without His love or the strength to handle it. Keeping in mind the great love of God and the riches we already have in Jesus Christ, we cast our anchor down deep, immune from the ups and downs of the present situation, to the eternal Rock. Resting our hope and trust in Him, in any and every circumstance, we find contentment. The fulfillment of our hopes is yet to come, but we needn’t lose the blessedness of today while we wait.
We need to recognize the Greengrass twins when they come our way, and give them no hearing. Lack of contentment comes from entertaining the lies that tell us today isn’t good enough; the pay isn’t enough, the rank isn’t enough, the place is barren. Whether it be low pay or a desolate assignment, deployment or a hard boss, if He has allowed it, there is goodness in it, and there can be contentment.
Being content now involves being thankful, and constant in prayer in every circumstance (Phil. 4:6). It involves training my mind not to complain, but to ponder what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). “And,” Paul assures us, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). Where that kind of peace is, Life is indeed good.
I’m finished wasting my years looking for green grass somewhere else. I have only to look at the ground under my feet! “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. . .” (Ps. 23:1, NKJV)