This week my family went on a brief trip to Illinois to witness the total solar eclipse. Uninterrupted family time is always a blessing, and experiencing the eclipse was magnificent. God is such an incredible Creator. Now we are back home, and I’m preparing to speak at a Mom’s Conference this weekend and gathering everything I need to begin school with the children next week. Sadly, that leaves minimal time to write new content. However, I’m excited to share with you a post I wrote last March for Bonnie Sue Beardsley’s More than Just Coffee blog. She had asked me to contribute to her series on contentment in Christ. Enjoy!
Have you ever had “mountaintop experience” in your faith journey?
A time when God’s presence and blessing were overwhelming and undeniable? These might include mission trips, church activities, or witnessing prayers answered favorably and quickly. In moments like those, it is easy to find contentment in Christ. Serving as pinnacles of our faith because they teach the truth of Psalm 37:4,
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
But where there are mountain tops, there are bound to be valleys as well.
Moments of pain, despair, doubt, and defeat. The sin struggle that seems too overwhelming to overcome or the words you never expected to hear. The prayers answered in the opposite way in which you asked, and the moments when you find yourself asking, “Why, Lord?” For me, the years of infertility, experiencing child loss, and broken friendships sum up these moments. But it was in those valleys that I experienced a sweet encounter with the Word of God. Without those moments, I never would have understood Lamentations 3:22,
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
But what about all those moments lived in-between?
For some reason, the highs and the lows are where I most often encounter Christ, leaving my day-to-day faith running on fumes. How do I stay content in my relationship with Christ without experiencing a miracle or bandaging a broken heart?
I’ve been pondering that question recently. For the past several years, I’ve been living mid-mountain. No grand quests made in the name of the Lord or moments of intense pain. And it is here, on the road in-between the high and the low where I find myself struggling even though there is nothing wrong. I unintentionally withhold my adoration from the Lord because nothing extraordinary is happening. Laundry, dishes, carpool lines, extra circular activities, homework, and cooking dinner night-after-night is my life right now, and it is in this normality I find myself battling discontentment.
The Lord silenced my inner turmoil with one word.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. ~ John 15:4
Is my discontentment a result of choosing not to abide in Christ while living in the in-between? What if clung to him for dear life even when life doesn’t feel like a wild ride? How would my relationship with Him improve if I lived in patient expectancy that He will show up on the mid-mountain path? Will I choose to habitually adhere to Him instead of assuming I’m able to handle life on my own?
I don’t know where you are in the journey of abiding and contentment, but I’m confident that abiding in Him– breathing the Spirit in and out with each breath – is the only way any of us will find contentment on this earth.
How do you abide in the Lord in the every day and not just in the grand mountain tops or dark, scary valleys?