Have you ever had a dream? Of course you have. It may not have necessarily occurred during your REM sleep, but we’ve all had hopes for the future, near and far. We hope to succeed in life. We hope to win that award. We hope to make the team. We hope for minute to swing by the coffee shop.
What is your vision for your future? If you could do anything with your life and your future, what would you do? Travel the world? Do missionary work overseas? Get married and live happily ever after, the end? Everyone has dreams—some bigger than others. Many times, these ambitions and passions are God-given aspirations for our lives deposited within us.
It can fun to dream about the future. There’s mystery and excitement about the sunshine around the corner—what will tomorrow hold? It’s a totally natural, healthy part of moving forward with life.
But what about right now? God has us exactly where He needs us to be right now. We’ve got to learn to trust Him, trust His plans, and trust His Word. Psalm 139:16 makes it clear that God planned out every single day of our lives before we even existed. And, if that isn’t encouraging enough, God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He’s got good plans for us!
Often times, it seems like there’s a rush to get to the climax of the story God’s written for us. Well, if He’s got great plans for me, then how come my life is so boring and dry? So hard? So ____? Do ever feel that way, like life lacks the flavor and purpose you desire? Join the club, I think we all do sometimes. We go through seasons of waiting, sometimes even seasons of trial and loneliness.
As trying as these times may be, they are often the times when we grow the most—we either grow closer or further from God, depending on our response. We can (a) grow bitter and angry at God and try out the world’s way to see if it makes us feel any better, or (b) put full trust and confidence in God and know that He’s working things out for us and we don’t need to worry.
Hint: (B) is definitely the right choice. This is what we would call contentment: no matter where you are in life—whether it be on the mountaintop of extreme bliss and incandescent happiness, in the “depths of despair” (as Anne Shirley of Green Gables would put it), in an uneventful, boring season of life, or even in a time of intense struggle—God is there, He is good, He is faithful—and we choose to rejoice and make the best of where we are, just because of that. We choose to trust God in keeping us put. We have confidence in the Almighty Maker that He knows what He’s doing and where He’s taking us.
Of course, I can’t say it better than Paul does in Philippians 4:11-13 (NASB): “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Hear that? It’s not us on our own strength. We can thrive in life with perfect contentment only on Christ’s strength! It’s Jesus who makes us strong. By trusting and delighting in the Lord, we are doing what we as humans were created to do—to worship God. And, as Christians, this is the ultimate calling: trusting, loving, abiding, knowing, seeking—drawing closer to God.
Don’t lose your ambitions, your hopes, your dreams. They have a place even in the now. Don’t be idle, either—get busy being content! Prepare for the future. Strengthen your relationship with God. See what you can do about your passions and interests now. Maybe your church needs another singer on the worship team—there’s an outlet for your passion for music right now. Find a volunteer opportunity to do missions in your own town. Have you considered starting a business? Organizing an event? Creating a project? Writing a book?
You know, if we take a good hard look at our lives right now—no matter what they look like—we can still find things to be thankful, joyful, and content about. We’re alive. We’re breathing. There’s a God pursuing us and intimately involved in our everyday lives. He’s at work all around us.
Let’s be Proverbs 31 women, content and busy at work to advance the Kingdom of God, anytime and anyplace.
Written by Marjorie Jackson
This devotional was originally published in the Winter 2015/16 issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Subscribe now for free so you don’t miss an issue!