I am so humbled by all the support and encouragement I have received after beginning this new series! Wow! In continuation of this study of a Heart Like His, my topic today is contentment.
I want to begin by saying that there is nothing wrong with striving for success, in fact, I think most of us don't dream quite big enough. Being a "dreamer," as some would call it, is a good thing, and, when in the center of God's will, can bring wonderful successes and blessings. However, God's timing doesn't always make sense to us. It's easy to get ahead of God, and even when we have good intentions, not listening to His voice can lead to heartache.
After my first mission trip to Haiti, I wanted to drop out of college. I hated going to classes that I thought I'd never need, I couldn't even think about what I wanted to "be when I grew up," and I felt trapped. To say I was discontent would be an understatement... and I had two whole years left (which seemed like a lifetime). How could I possibly stay in that little town going through the motions of what every 20 year old is "supposed" to do when I knew what needed to be done in other parts of the world? I knew my potential to change lives by sharing Jesus with them. I knew of specific needs that I could help meet. I knew of sweet little girls who just needed to feel loved, who needed someone like me to wrap my arms around them and encourage them. I wanted to be back there more than anything. But I wasn't in Haiti and I couldn't be.
That's when Jesus first began speaking to my heart about contentment. I learned that you can only find true peace and contentment through Him. I started asking Him daily to use me where I was, to make me fall in love again with the little town that I had wanted to live in my entire life, and to provide me with contentment where I was until I got to where I wanted to be, and He transformed my heart and attitude, breathing into me a new zest for life. He added to my passion for missions by giving me a passion for the present. He didn't crush my dreams of serving Him, He didn't say "no;" He said "wait."
So, for two years, that's exactly what I've done. Now, only 21 days stand between my heart's desire to take the love of Jesus to the Haitian people and boarding the plane. Jesus' timing is perfect. Accept this challenge with me, friends, to rest in the contentment that only He can give, to trust Him fully. For me, this is a daily struggle, something that I have to ask Him for each and every day. Together, through Him, we can find joy and contentment where we are right now, having learned from the past and looking forward to the future.