“I’ll be happy when….”
“I wouldn’t be stressed out if…”
“I would be content if only…”
“Life would be so much easier if…”
“I’ll be relieved when…”
“I wouldn’t always be worked up if…”
Who can relate? Can you easily fill in the blanks? Are there situations in your life that you tend to add “if only” disclaimers to in order to justify why the situation you are in is just not as fulfilling as it could be?
If our circumstances were different, then our lives would be so much easier, we would be happier, we wouldn’t be as stressed, everything would be great and all of our problems would be solved, right? Well the truth is, many times we find that although our circumstances change, we actually remain the same and some of those issues we thought were as the result of our jobs, our financial situation or that difficult person in our lives, actually seem to follow us from from job to job, from home to home, from person to person and from situation to situation.
We repeatedly find ourselves faced with one imperfect circumstance after another making us think, “Geesh, can I just catch a break? If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” Well, this is so true. If it’s not one thing, it will be another when we fool ourselves into thinking our circumstances are what governs our contentment. We will find ourselves on a never-ending search for the place called “Perfect” and we will live in a cycle of always reaching for something we don’t presently have in an effort to find happiness.
Well, here’s the secret…
The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. I have all that I need. I don’t need a thing.
Psalm 23:1 (NLT, MSG, NIV)
When we find ourselves disgruntled and unsatisfied circumstance after circumstance, it’s an invitation to search our own hearts. If we think true contentment is found in our surroundings or in our relationships, we will find ourselves let down time and time again. If we wait to be happy “when” … well, we may never get there because while we are living in this age here on earth, nothing will be perfect.
We were not destined to live a life unfulfilled in every circumstance. Rather, we were destined for satisfaction no matter the conditions, because our contentment is to be found in nothing but Jesus. He is peace, He is love, He is joy, He is stability, He is an unlimited well of resources... He is everything that we search for in this life all wrapped up into one source. We are made complete in Him and unlike other circumstances and other people, He never changes and He will never disappoint.
“…for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Jesus… He is the one thing that has the ability to fulfill every longing desire we have. He is that something that “if only we had” and even more so, “if only” we realized everything He came to give us, then at last we would find contentment. He is the secret to living in every situation, because it is Christ in us, the hope of glory, that gives us all we need.