December 2019 to December 2021 were the hardest two years I have yet to live. It felt like cross country running in the cold with cement blocks for shoes. At the beginning of this year, I took flight off a long-awaited precipice and into a cotton candy cloud-filled sky.
After pushing so hard for so long, it didn’t seem right that everything fell into place. I was eventually able to let go of my fear of something snapping and live in the moment of being on the high places, but time has brought another rendition of a timeless lesson:
Humankind, if left to its own devices, will always be dissatisfied.
It would have been enough that…
- I graduated from college how I hoped and prayed I would
- Middle school best friends still stick close by my side
- I have a full-time job that directly employs my technical and personal skillset
- My parents aren’t charging me rent while I save up for a home of my own
- My relationship with my sister is only getting better
Any one of those gifts would have been enough, yet the last few weeks I have found myself continuously falling back into a slump of wanting out, of wanting more. Of wanting this, that, or the other to be fixed, better, or different. This goes back to another timeless lesson:
We will always have far more to be grateful for than we could ever complain about.
There is always a silver lining. There is always something to grateful for, enough that we will be able to fill eternity with praise. Sometimes you just have to look harder or won’t see it until later, but it’s always there.
Dissatisfied Complaining vs Righteous Discontentment
Now, there is a difference between dissatisfied complaining and righteous discontentment. Change does not occur when one is curled up in their comfort zone. Sometimes God makes us uncomfortable to move us along His plan for our lives.
As always, there is a balance to everything in life, so try to use wisdom as you discern which camp your heart is in. Is your longing pushing you to walk in faith toward a future that will make you a better person? Or are you overlooking the blessings you already have?
Reflect on God’s will and your God-given purpose, big picture then how that ripples into the minuteness of your life. Journal and reflect on what you know to be true about yourself. Each of these will help you discern between sin and God’s hand.
It should have been enough that…
- Jesus was one of us for a time
- Our Father gave up everything so we could be with Him again
- We were given a Helper in the Holy Spirit (John 14:26)
- God’s word has been collected in book form for our daily bread
- There is a moral compass in the form of our conscious
- The local and universal Church body gives us a little taste of heaven
Any one of those gifts (and innumerable others) should have been enough. We have far more to be grateful for than we could ever complain about, yet all that has been done and is being done for us never seems to be enough.
It Will Never Be Enough
We will never be content, not according to human standards. Not in this broken world where we long for our heavenly home. There will always be greener grass, the new and improved. Stress will continue to migrate instead of evaporate. So what must we do?
Be grateful. The key to happiness is found in being content with what you have. From ripples of grace in everyday life to spiritual freedom, we are a long way from the banishment to Hell we deserve. It could be a lot worse, so we’re doing pretty good.
Find peace in the One who gives. The things the world categorizes as peaceful are transient and fleeting. God’s peace allows for a heart of tranquility when nothing is good according to the world’s standards. He alone can truly satisfy.
Yes, it would be nice to have every relational and material blessing we’re “lacking,” but that’s not where we are now and there is no promise it will come in the future. It is the simplicity of quietly resting in our Savior that we will be satisfied (Isaiah 30:15; Psalm 63:5-6).