Contentment 101

I know there are people out there who believe that they are the biggest control freaks in the world. They should be relieved to know that they are wrong. While I would like to crown someone else with this dubious honor, I must accept the title as my own.

Being a control freak would be great if it actually produced the results you were trying to achieve. But alas, it only brings frustration and discontentment, as does all self centered pursuits. So how does a control freak find contentment?

For the Christian, choosing to remember the fact that we gave control over our lives to Jesus needs to become like breathing. In bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (2 Cor 10:5) our perspective becomes His perspective. It is then we experience that amazing work of being “transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:2) Every thought of “What should I do?” should be replaced with the thought “What will You do, Lord?” After all, He’s the one with the plan.

I am re-reading a book by Linda Dillow titled “Calm My Anxious Heart”. This is a quote from the introduction:

“Contentment is accepting God’s sovereign control over all of life’s circumstances…..The following story of two monks helped me put my control versus God’s control into perspective.

“I need oil”, said an ancient monk, so he planted an olive sapling. “Lord” he prayed, “it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers.” And the Lord sent gentle showers. “Lord,” prayed the monk, “my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray thee.” And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds. “Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissue,” cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it had died.

Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience. “I, too, planted a little tree,” he said, “and see! It thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. ‘Lord, send what it needs.’ I prayed, ‘storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou hast made it and Thou dost know,’”

One monk proved what was that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. One monk proved that apart from Him, you can do nothing. We know which monk we are and which monk God wants us to be. Take control over the circumstance that’s freaking you out and pray “Lord, send what it needs.”

And get ready for some oil.


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