Lately I've been struck by how easily I can slip into feelings of discontentment, despite how blessed I know I am. One minute I can be enjoying being home with my boys, thankful that I don't have to miss a minute of their rapidly changing lives, and the next, I find myself wishing I had an additional purpose in which I could interact with adults and be affirmed of my work. Both states of mind feel completely real and compelling to me at the time. How is it possible to swing from one perspective to the next so quickly and frequently? Am I suffering from a mommy-brain induced schizophrenia?
Deep down, I know the answers to these questions. It's not limited to the time and place of my life now. Honestly, this has always been a struggle for me. How often have I thought, "if only I had ___ (fill in the blank: more time, more friends, more money, a better class of students, a job, children, no job, etc.), then I would be happy"? I know this thought is a lie that the evil one uses to cripple us. The truth is that nothing satisfies my longings for happiness but an intimate relationship with the Lord.
So why do I still struggle with this when I know the truth? Ah, it is the age-old mystery of the battle of the flesh and the spirit. I know that because I am a believer of Christ, I am no longer bound by my sin, however since I am alive in this world, my old sin nature is still a temptation for me. So what's the cure? How can I possibly remain content in a world that is every moment telling me I need something else to be happy (all you've got to do is turn on the TV or read a magazine to see that, folks!)?
I was reminded this morning of the power of God's word through our pastor Mike Campbell's compelling sermon on 1 Peter 1:22-2:3. He gave a great illustration that really brought light to my struggle. He said that we often treat reading the word like we're eating Popeye's spinach. We want a BAM! experience in which we are instantly fit and ready to go. Instead, reading God's word is more like a healthy diet, it affects our lives slowly over time.
Thus, the solution for my tendency to become discontent is to faithfully remain in the word, reminding myself of what is true and constant, believing that His word is living and active and able to transform my life. The transformation will take time, unlike the promises of "3 easy steps to a new you" solutions the world tries to sell us. So if you struggle like me to remain at peace with where God has you right now, turn to God's word for a solid foundation. I'll end with a quote from Charles Spurgeon that my pastor used today. Pretty profound, I think:
The Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't.