This is the third week of looking at 5 Keys to Contentment - a list compiled by Ella Speers.  The first two: not allowing yourself to complain, and choosing to control our imagination really set the stage for number 3.

 

3. Never compare your lot with another's.

 

If I had a nickel for every time I've done this my wealth would rival that of Oprah's.

 

How many times have single women wished they were married

 

or married women wish they were single again?

 

How many childless women envied those who have children

 

or mothers with small toddlers wish they could trade places with a carefree woman with no whining babies?

 

Lest you think I am cruel, I have been in each of those places.  I have been in my 30's, single, and envying those who were married.  I've been a childless woman wondering why I couldn't seem to carry a pregnancy past the 6th week.  I've been a married woman who remembered those carefree days of not having to cook and clean...and a mother of a fussy, teething toddler longing for golden silence...just for a day.

 

Yet, every time we "compare our lot with another's" we are literally looking at God in the face saying, "It's not fair!  You shortchanged me!"  

 

Doesn't God know what is best for us at every season of our life?

 

Doesn't the Bible say that every good and perfect gift come from above?

 

I was profoundly convicted on Sunday when my husband led us in devotions by reading and commenting on that verse.

 

Why?

 

Because I have been guilty of this very thing over the past couple of weeks.

 

The complications I've been facing have pretty much locked me in my house, forcing me to lie down every 10 minutes or so, and have sent my 20-month old 3 hours northeast of me to be with his grandparents so I can rest like I need to.

 

Oh, I know, you're probably thinking, "If only that were meeeeeeeeee......!!!!"

 

And yet, I am whining, "I want to get out.  I miss my friends, I miss my church, I miss my son, I miss being active...."

 

But what if we were to look at our present circumstances, our current lot in life, and recognize it as God's good and perfect gift?

 

What if we were realize that even hardships in life are His good and perfect gift - because He uses them to chip off our rough spots and shape our character to be more like His.

 

So, here I sit, with face in hands, looking at myself in my eyes, and saying to myself defiantly, "You WILL be content!  You will be content now to rest and soak up all the boredom you can while you can, and you WILL be content in a week when your son returns and you are on your feet and facing great pain in your back day after day until the baby comes.  You will!  And you must!" 

 

Because only then can we truly give God the worth He deserves.

 

Because when we choose to be content, when we choose to bring our imaginations under control, and when choose accept our lot in life as His good and perfect gift we are truly worshiping Him as He deserves to be worshiped - as Almighty, All-knowing, and All-powerful God who gives us only the very best!

 

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