A publishing contract? A bestselling novel? A thousand emails a day from pleased readers? A loaded bank account? A two-story home with a wraparound porch and a huge tree shading the front yard? A wedding ring and a walk down the church aisle?
I’ve got to tell you, I wouldn’t complain if God saw fit to give me those things.
Except…maybe I would.
Oh, come on, how could anybody complain about any of that, right? Well, let’s see. Maybe the contract comes from someone other than my “dream” publisher. Maybe the bestselling novel comes along with some nasty reviews on Amazon. Maybe the thousand reader emails overwhelm my inbox and my mind. Maybe the home with the porch isn’t in my preferred location. Maybe the wedding ring ignites fear of an unstable marriage. Maybe the loaded bank account…actually, no, I can’t see that one being a bad thing. ;)
Get what I mean? We humans have a knack for finding every excuse to not be satisfied.
The children of Israel were rescued from bondage in Egypt. They witnessed miracles like the parting of the Red Sea and water flowing from a rock. Yet, they still complained. When I heard those stories in Sunday school, I used to think, “Good grief, what was wrong with those people? All they had to do was listen to God.”
Now I realize I am them. “Lord, I’m tired of manna. Can’t you make something else miraculously fall from heaven? Maybe some Three Musketeers? Or some hibachi fried rice? Or hey, a new car would be nice!”
Surely the Lord is watching me, shaking His head. He doesn’t lose His patience—He’s more than familiar with my knack for wanting more. But He’s disappointed.
He wants me to know He’s enough.
You might’ve heard that I’ve had a pretty successful summer. I’ve done well in some contests, signed with an amazing agent, been supported by newsletter subscribers…
The doubt still comes though, like a pinprick. You’re still not published, you know. You might never be. No one wants to read your books. You’re just a twenty-something girl—you don’t have a thing to offer the world.
I’d be a liar if I said I don’t let thoughts like that bug me. Sometimes, I straight up wonder if I do have anything to offer the world.
Then the Lord answers, “No. You don’t.”
Well, great. Good to know.
“You don’t, you stubborn girl. But I do. And I want to use you.”
How does God tell me this, you ask?
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9)
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (II Timothy 2:21)
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (I Corinthians 15:10)
I ought to be content. Satisfied. And I’m learning to be.
We can chase success, do everything possible to make ourselves feel accomplished. We can secure the highest-paying jobs, buy the most luxurious cars, and build gigantic homes with twenty-foot ceilings and wide balconies. We can do all these things and still want more.
Or we can acknowledge the blessings God has given us in this present moment and thank Him. We can pray for the wisdom to be content, knowing He will give us what we need in His timing. We can ask the Holy Spirit to brush away the doubts and help us live a pleasing life.
When doubts come, He is enough. When success seems like an imaginary creature, He is enough.
He will always be enough. If you have Him, you have everything.
Are you relying on Him for your contentment? Or are you searching for the next “accomplishment” to make you happy?
Complaining is super easy. Let’s try to ease up on that.