Which is why you confide in me that you are not feeling worthy, not feeling enough.
You've been a Christian for years now. You may not remember it but when you were ten you marched yourself right up to me in Vacation Bible School and proclaimed you were born saved. You had a huge grin on your little face. You were proud, yes you were.
I prayed for you then. I prayed your joy in Christ would not be lost as you grew. I prayed it wouldn't take you long to realize no one is born saved.
And I don't think it did.
But what about that hot topic - joy and contentment? You don't want these thoughts to steal your joy but what if they are meant to steal your contentment?
Because, my sweet, we can get too content.
Contentment can be a lovely place to be. Books have always been written teaching us to be thankful in all circumstances and to be grateful even for our difficulties.
God's word breathes often of contentment. Paul declared -
For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
to the Thessalonians he urged -
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
to the Philippians -
Rejoice in the Lord always.
But should we always be content as if it's a life rope thrown to a dying Christian? I don't think so. All situations we find ourselves in are not of God's will. Some are due to a sinful, fallen world. But just as Christ looked into history and saw your face as He was being crucified proclaiming he's mine He gave Paul the powerful words to teach us to be peaceful in times of suffering and discontent.
But often discontent is a life-force given from God to reveal to us we need to make a change.
That we are falling short of our potential. We have gotten comfortable in shoes instead of bared our feet to be washed by the hands of Christ. We are living this world instead of dying to Christ.
Thomas Edison said discontent is the first necessity of progress.
And discontentment can be redemptive.
God never intended for the Israelites to be content in Egypt.
Men have pieced together the writings of Paul's prison epistles and it is known he spent two years in Caesarea confined to Herod's palace. Imprisoned there and unable to leave he appealed his case over and over to Caesar.
While there his joy in Christ led him to write the words Rejoice in the Lord always but he was not content to be undone and his work stalled in that place.
So you are feeling a little undone. Hang onto your joy but ask for guidance and cry Help me, Lord more often than not.
And again, if you could visually see Christ or audibly hear His voice He might just say to you - you are doing fine, my child.
But not because you are walking closely enough, doing enough, or being enough.
Only because of love.
Because we will never be worthy. But never stop trying.
Because feeling undone in this world is to see the face of Christ.
So be peaceful.
But never be satisfied.