Do you remember what it was like as a child to ride your bike down a steep hill with your feet sticking out to the side just to see how fast you could go? Did you ever swing so high it felt like you were flying or hung upside-down on the monkey bars and pretended you could walk on air? There is an uninhibited joy that children have, yet somewhere along the road to adulthood, we have the tendency to lose that excitement and zest for life.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Yet so many of us live like we’re the walking dead. We let life happen to us, and forget to truly live. Personally, I can’t help but wonder if it’s because the majority of Christians misunderstand the concept of contentment. We’ve heard all our lives that a good Christian is always content, no matter what’s happening in his or her life. So we sigh, try not to mope, and accept that life is just a series of days filled with 9:00-5:00 work hours, cleaning house, helping children with homework, doing piles of laundry, going to bed exhausted, and wondering if there isn’t more to life.
Surprisingly, there aren’t as many Bible verses about contentment as you might think, but of the handful of verses we do have, the word contentment means something entirely different than most are led to believe. The original Greek word for content/contentment actually means “self-satisfying.” What the language actually says is that a believer in Christ has the ability to find satisfaction in whatever life throws his way. It doesn’t mean that we have to jump up and down in happiness over the fact that we’re sick and poor, but rather, we know how to live fully alive in whatever we face. It’s waking up in the morning determined to enjoy the day, to have fun, and to laugh. It’s choosing see God, whether it’s in the laughter of a child, the beauty of a butterfly, or the hug of a friend. God is always with us, revealing Himself to us, but far too often, we are so focused on our problems that we miss seeing Him.
Each of us is born with a specific purpose, something God created us to do. We each have the potential to live a life so filled to the measure that a song could be written about our lives when they come to an end, yet few of us ever live such full, abundant lives. Henry David Thoreau said, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." Choose to live this life fully alive, filled to the measure with the fullness of God. When you have an unshakeable faith in God combined with a passion to live, there’s no telling what God can do in your life and through your life.
Does this take away your sickness? Unfortunately, no, but I’ve realized something after eleven years of living with a chronic illness – we can choose to sit around waiting to die from our illness or we can choose to live with our illness. We can wake up each morning and choose to live a full, abundant life in spite of the fact we live each day with a chronic illness. Sickness isn’t what defeats us, but rather, our attitude. Choose to LIVE!
“Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
© May 30, 2013