Tag Archives: discontent

Remembering God’s Promises. Again.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life—
for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Psalm 138:8, NLT*

Don’t we forget this, sometimes?

Bad news piles up. Globally. Locally. Personally. Even if we’re physically untouched, the sheer weight of what goes on around us can be soul-crushing.

And let’s face it, even when life is really good, there are elements that we don’t like. That could be better.

If we’re not careful, fear, discouragement, discontent and others can pull our focus away from our Lord’s sufficiency. We know the truth of God’s promises, but we forget. (Click to tweet this.)

I find that embarrassing. Every time.

These days, we have “stuff” going on at church. I don’t understand it, I don’t like it, and I do not want to go around this tree again. Been there, done that a long time ago.

Yet where is God speaking to me? In church. First, He told me to be quiet. Hmm. Then He challenged me to accept His timing when I think it’s too slow.

He reminded me that adversity is part of life. It’s often the part that makes for the best growth. And it’ll happen whether I want it to or not.

My attitude needs to reflect hope and trust. Not an unrealistic hope that He will make everything pretty, but assurance that God is good, He is in control, and He will work all things out for good for those who trust Him.

For me, it’s meant repenting of an attitude of discontent. Reminding myself that it’s not about what I want. Recommitting myself to live in a way that honours and trusts in God.

God our Maker and Sustainer, somehow You will work all the messes of life into something beautiful. Forgive our grumbling and our discontent—and our fear—when we don’t like what we see. You don’t like it either, but You can work with it. Help us trust You. Help us work with You to be part of Your solution instead of being part of the negativity.

I love this song from Robin Mark: “All is Well.” Take a few minutes to let it bless you.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Is God Enough?

“Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

1 Samuel 1:8, NLT* 

In a culture that measured a woman’s worth by her fertility, Hannah was barren—and her husband’s other wife twisted that knife as often as possible.

This verse always made me want to smack Elkanah. He loved Hannah, but how could he be so clueless? How could he not understand the pain of Hannah’s longing? Not pick up on her rival’s smugness?

Last week’s post made me see this passage differently. If we’re trusting in God’s unfailing love instead of in self-pity, anger, anxiety, whatever—if we can grasp just a bit of God’s love, won’t we say it’s enough?

What if Elkanah and Hannah are a picture of God and us? Don’t we often hold onto other desires—real, deep and painful—instead of being satisfied by all that God is? The irony is, we can’t discover His depths while we’re focused on what we don’t have.

I’m not trying to minimize our longings. Love, employment, children, publication, whatever it is that’s the empty place in our hearts, these things matter. Some longings, like Hannah’s, are God-planted. He’ll fulfil those. Others, equally strong, He won’t. And we won’t know why. Or which are which, until some come to fruition.

The lesson for me is this: we need to trust His unfailing love. We need to let God be enough for us in the now.

God our Provider, our Sustainer and Redeemer, forgive us for letting unmet longings take our hearts away from You. Teach us to trust Your unfailing love, and open our spirits to realize that You are enough. Please fill what’s empty in us and help us trust You with the desires of our hearts.

Let Chris Tomlin remind us of these truths with his song, “Enough“.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Choice to be Cheerful

Have you ever read accommodation reviews and wondered if the people actually stayed at the same spot? There’ll be a stack of 4- and 5-star reviews, and then some 1-stars. Raves about how great everything is, and rants about miserable service and conditions.

My husband and I read the usual gamut when picking an overnight spot for an impulse trip to Prince Edward Island. We decided that mixed reviews are mostly about what people look for. Some folks are never satisfied.

Prince Edward Island National Park

PEI National Park

PEI is maybe a four hour drive from our home, and My husband had never been there. I hadn’t been since I was a child. It was time.

Some would say it wasn’t quite the right time.

It was the Victoria Day long weekend* and time for those with cottages to consider opening up for the summer. I think most cottagers stayed home, because Atlantic Canada was cold that weekend. There was snow. I saw bits of hail.

Our lodging was designed for summer use. It was cold, and it stayed cold, although after a while we couldn’t see our breath.

Remembering the cranky reviewers, we stayed determinedly cheerful. Even when morning came with no hot water.

But I wondered if that was the final straw that would turn me into a grump. (And I wasn’t the one who discovered the hard way just how cold the water was!)

Most of us can handle a few irritations or troubles, but after a while we get tired of being patient and we think we’ve had enough. And I’ve often thought it seems like life piles on “just one more” until we crack.

The enemy of our souls would suggest we just start spewing at the first problem. “It’s inevitable.” Except it isn’t.

As I heated water in the kettle so I could wash, I realized it’s not about my choice to be positive. It’s about my reliance on—my confidence in—God as the one in control, my Shepherd, He who will look after me in any circumstance.

That’s the peace, not whether things are good or bad. That’s the source of contentment, not my decision to be cheerful (although that’s good too).

Our overnight stay turned out to be more “roughing it” than we’d planned, but it taught me something important: Be positive, but more than that, remember and trust in God.


Woodpecker at the Anne of Green Gables heritage site

Because sometimes life stinks, and we can still have security and even joy in God. That’s what the Apostle Paul said: “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation… For I can do everything through Christ…” (Philippians 4:12-13, NLT)

And lest anyone feel sorry for us, we actually did have a delightful day once we got back on the road. We went to the beach (in jackets and hoods) to watch the waves and seabirds, saw two beautiful herons, strolled the grounds of the Anne of Green Gables heritage sites, walked quietly through a prayer garden, ate lobster burgers accompanied by some classic tunes from our younger years, indulged in some COWS ice cream… and my sweet husband bought me some birthday gifts. The day turned out to be the first of  50 good memories I’m to record in the journal he gave me the next day, on my actual birthday. Best birthday ever? I think so.

I’m so glad we didn’t let the cold ruin it. And I hope we get back to PEI when the normal tourists go, in the summer when it’s warm!


*Yes, Canada appears to be the only country where Queen Victoria’s birthday is a national holiday. No, I don’t personally care about her birthday. Yes, I would consider renaming it. But let there be no talk of us losing a statutory holiday.

When Joy is Scarce

You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
. . .
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 63:5,7 NLT*

Joy has been scarce in my heart lately, and I’ve felt more like David’s “parched and weary land.”

These two verses from Psalm 63 are my antidote, if I can let my mind and spirit truly believe them.

God satisfies. He is enough, and abundantly more than enough. That negates the joy-drain of discontent. I need to practice intentional gratitude, not just for His gifts but for who He is.

God helps. He is our ever-present helper and sustainer, and His strong hand holds us securely.

That truth eliminates anxiety, if I really believe it.

God who is all that I need, I believe. Help my unbelief. Help me realize, accept and rely on the truth of who You are and what that means in my life. Help me live confident and secure in You, aware of the many ways You satisfy and delight. 

God used the Newsboys’ song, “The Letter,” to challenge me about believing what He says

*New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.