Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Restless. Content. Extraordinary. Everyday.

To be or not to be?

I find myself in the middle of an interesting life phase. I thought it was coincidental that it began the year I turned 40. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. Only God knows for sure. 

What I know for sure is that God began to stir a "restlessness" inside of me. 

He was patient and gentle as He showed me that I had a deeper need for more of Him than what my ritualistic Bible reading and church-related responsibilities were affording me. He revealed my fave sins of self-righteousness and my many manifestations of pride. 

This restlessness led me to deeply seek Him with intentionality and I was rewarded with exactly what my soul needed, more of Jesus. 

It hasn't always been easy, but it has most definitely been worth it. Processing old "junk" and seeking new direction is something that I have come to accept as a way of life. I want to be restless in these areas. 

My hope is found in the promise of Philippians 1, that God will finish this good work He has begun in me. (I just have to remember that it is work and it is good!) There will be an end. 

However, in the meantime, it is this restlessness that propels me further from my old, sin nature and toward a faith-stretching, God-seeking perspective that asks "What's next?".

I can't be content with where I am. 

But there's a problem. There are certain aspects of my life that I am called to be content in. 

Just a couple of chapters later in Philippians, Paul is writing that he has learned to be content in whatever circumstance he might find himself in. I know from my own experience that if I am always looking for what is next, that I miss opportunities that God has for me in the present. I can't be fully "in" today if I am trying to figure "out" tomorrow. 

My husband and I have served churches that were hard to serve. We wanted to go somewhere, anywhere else, but knew we were where we were supposed to be for that period of time. While it was hard, and we definitely felt restless, we were content to be where we were. We experienced the blessings of accepting that was His plan for us.    

Neither extreme is good. If we are always restless, we miss the blessing of contentment, never being satisfied or finding fulfillment. If we are always content, we grow stagnant and miss the grace that God uses to grow us. 

I really wish I had the secret of walking the balance beam between the two, restlessness and contentment. 

I do know that in the busy-ness of of the everyday, Satan can lull us into a complacency that is neither being content or being restless. Usually in my life, it is simply being busy. Satan uses that busy state and compounds it with the lies that the mundane routine of dishes and laundry and everything else that never seems to get "done," is meaningless and pointless.  

Please remember, that Satan is our enemy and that God calls us to live in the everyday. It is in these everyday activities where He grows and stretches us, where we learn to serve like Jesus did. It is in a lifetime of everydays where a lifetime of faithful service to Him is made and a legacy of Christlike faithfulness is formed. 

Right now, in my life, there remains a restlessness for the extraordinary as I seek to be content in my everyday. I truly believe this place I am in is a grace where God is calling me to pray, to dream and to wait expectantly to do the things in and through and around me that only He can do. 

And, let's face it, we would all like to see God do only extraordinary things all the time. Wouldn't it be great if we could always live on the mountain top of spiritual highs and experiences?

That balance beam between restlessness and contentment intersects with another beam between everyday and extraordinary. The only thing that I can think of that will keep me from falling into an extreme, and on the faithful path of remaining in God's will, is to pray for discernment. 

I am praying to know when to be restless and when to be content. I am praying for the exciting faith  of the extraordinary and the accepting faith of the everyday. 

I will be and I won't be. 

Restless. Content. Extraordinary. Everyday.

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