When You Struggle With Enough

YouHaveEnough

When I was a little kid sitting in church listening to the pastor read the Bible, I loved it when Psalm 23 was one of the day’s lessons. I would look up at the big stained glass window of Jesus holding a little lamb. I could easily picture Jesus as a Shepherd playing with the sheep, leading them to a bubbling creek, finding their favorite snack—green grass.

But one part of the psalm always puzzled me: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” What could that mean? Didn’t David want God to be his shepherd? Did he want a different shepherd?

One Sunday after church when Psalm 23 was again part of the service, I decided to ask my mother, “Mom, what does that part of that psalm mean—I shall not want?”

“Well, it means that because God was David’s shepherd, David didn’t want anything else.”

Mmm…this seemed even more confusing. I was still at the age when I thought my mother knew everything, so I didn’t question her. But I didn’t understand. Sure her answer made more sense than not wanting Jesus for a shepherd. But how could David not want anything else? Didn’t he want food or clothes? How could you not want chocolaty fudgesicles or Barbie dolls?

Now that I’m a little more grown up (I still love fudgesicles) I understand a bit more. David’s statement, “I shall not want” meant that he was content with what he had. He was saying, “Because God is taking care of me, I have everything I need.” He trusted that God would not only provide food and clothes but rest and comfort, protection and mercy. David was wearing the color of contentment.

When I’m wearing envy green I’m constantly looking at what I don’t have. I’m comparing what I have with what I see others possess. I complain that what I have is not enough.

But on those rare occasions when I put on the color of contentment, I remember that God has always taken care of me. I begin to trust that He really does know what He is doing and is leading me on the path that is best for me. Instead of complaining about what I don’t have, I start to notice the blessings already in reach.

Lately, I’ve heard God whispering the word enough. Through His Word I hear Him asking me to look at what I already have and realize that it is exactly what I need right now. The Shepherd gently tells me, “I love you. If you needed more, I would give you more. Trust me—you have enough.”

My Shepherd tells me, “I love you. If you needed more, I would give you more. Trust me—you have enough.” Click To Tweet

When I struggle to get rid of my envy green outfit, I try to take myself back to the view of the stained glass window of Jesus holding the little lamb. When I start to look at what I don’t have, I remember David’s confidence that his Shepherd would give him everything he needed. I repeat his words, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” and ask God to help me wear the color of contentment.

Next step: Which color are you wearing today? Envy green? Or the color of contentment? Post the words of Psalm 23:1 somewhere you will see them often today to remind yourself of the Shepherd’s care.

Divine Makeover001This post was adapted from my book for teens and young women:

Divine Makeover: God Makes You Beautiful.

Perhaps you have been looking for a resource for your youth group or a study to do with your daughter. Or maybe you need a confirmation or graduation gift for a lovely young woman.

Check out Divine Makeover at CPH and Amazon.

 

 

The secret for contentment

Your Top Five Posts of 2016

your-top-five-posts-of-2016

2016 was quite a year! For me, it was time chock-full of family visits, writing, and volunteer work. How about you?

During January I often take time to evaluate the year before. So today I took a few minutes to check out what interested you–my readers–most in 2016. Here are your favorite five posts! Reread and be reinspired!

What to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Pray

Luke 18-13Sometimes I struggle with prayer. How to pray. What to pray. When to find time to pray. And how on earth can I accomplish prayer without ceasing? This post talks about a short prayer that I use when I don’t know what to pray. Check out this prayer that has been used for centuries.

Breathe in your Savior’s name and breathe out a desperate prayer for grace. Click To Tweet
Five Creative Ways to Encourage Someone

encourage

Hebrews 10:24 says, Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out (The Message). I want to be an encourager, but I sometimes struggle with how to be supportive. This post gives a few ideas.

Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out. (Hebrews 10:24 MSG) Click To Tweet
7 Habits That Promote Soul Rest

soulrest

Soul rest. That’s what we all need. The kind of rest that calms our hearts. The kind of respite that obliterates restlessness in our spirits.The kind of stillness that cancels out the craziness of this world like noise-cancelling headphones wipe out any pandemonium around us.

This post introduces the concept of soul rest and the habits that can lead us into that rest by drawing us into the presence of the Lord.

Soul rest is the rest that calms our hearts. It is the rest that draws us into the presence of the Lord. Click To Tweet
When You’re Feeling Unsettled, Dissatisfied

unsettled soul

When I’m feeling dissatisfied with my life or when I’m feeling unsettled, it is often because I have forgotten one crucial thing. Find out what that is in this post. When we’re facing loss and discouragement, we can realize that God has already given us what we need.

Even when I'm feeling unsettled and dissatisfied, Jesus knows what I need most. Click To Tweet
How to Truly Love Yourself

1 John 4-16

This post was inspired by a devotion I read by a tenth-century monk on the four degrees of love. Click to read about these four degrees of love and how the fourth degree allows us to love ourselves so that we can love others well.

We don’t love ourselves because we deserve love. We love ourselves because we see ourselves through God’s eyes. Click To Tweet

Next step: What do you most need today? Help with prayer, encouragement, soul rest, dissatisfaction, or loving yourself? Read the corresponding article and find hope in God’s Word.

your-top-5-posts-of-2016

The Mystery of Psalm 23

JesusShepherd

During the 40 days of Lent I am reading through the Psalms. Why don’t you join me? Click here to download the Lenten reading guide. 

When I was a little girl I loved hearing Psalm 23 read in church. It was easy to picture Jesus as a shepherd because in the sanctuary there was a huge stained glass window of Jesus holding a staff in one hand and a snow-white lamb in the other.

However, there was one thing about that psalm that always puzzled me. When the pastor read, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” it sounded like the guy who wrote the psalm didn’t want Jesus to be his shepherd.

And that just didn’t make any sense.

Finally, one Sunday I asked my mother to explain that verse. She told me that the writer was trying to say that because Jesus was his shepherd he didn’t want anything else.

Well, that made a little more sense, but how could that be?

I mean, how could you not want chocolate ice-cream cones? Or Barbie dolls? Or sleepover parties?

Even now–all grown up–I want Jesus to be my Shepherd. But sometimes it’s hard not to want other things. Like family to be close. Like friends who don’t move away. Like health for my loved ones.

mysteryPsalm23But maybe having Jesus as my Shepherd, doesn’t necessarily mean automatic contentment here on earth.

Look at the way the NIV (1984) translates that verse:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Psalm 23:1

This take on the verse assures me that Jesus my Shepherd will give me what I need. I won’t be in a state of want. I might not have everything I desire, but I will have everything I need.

The rest of Psalm 23 tells us everything that God provides:

  • food and water (v. 2)
  • rest (v. 2)
  • restoration (v.3)
  • guidance (v. 3)
  • protection (v. 4)
  • His presence (v. 4)
  • goodness and love (v. 6)
  • eternal life (v. 6)

What do you most need today? Where does it fit in the list above? Look up that verse now.

Maybe you no longer yearn for Barbie dolls or sleepovers. But life is hard and we often have unfulfilled longings.

Take all your desires to the Shepherd. Trust that He will carry you in His arms today and give you exactly what you need.


 

Background information for Psalm 23: Psalm 23 is in the first book of Psalms (which includes Psalms 1-41). The psalm is a psalm of trust. It was written by David who grew up tending sheep. He knew firsthand the duties and responsibilities of a shepherd. Read the psalm here.


 

Next step: Write down your greatest need (or desire). Look up the corresponding verse in Psalm 23. Write it on a card to carry with you today or on sticky note to post it where you can see it often. Picture yourself being carried like a lamb in the arms of Jesus.

 

Three Reasons to Avoid Shortcuts in Life

psalm 25-5

My husband and I were driving to Columbia, Missouri to visit our son and his wife. It was a beautiful sunny day and were were enjoying the six-hour drive until…

Traffic on the Interstate slowed and stopped. Instead of zipping along at 70 miles per hour, we were now crawling along at 7 miles per hour–or less!

I called my son to tell him we would probably be later than expected. He got on his computer and discovered that a huge accident had occurred. Yep–this was going to take awhile.

ShortcutBut then he also found an alternate route–a frontage road that ran along the highway. “You should be able to follow that until you are past the accident,” he said. So we exited the freeway at the next opportunity and were soon rushing past the parked cars on the Interstate.

We were feeling rather smug until traffic on the frontage road slowed and stopped. It seemed we were not the only cars to have the idea of the shortcut and now the skinny frontage road couldn’t handle all the traffic.

In fact, the pace was so slow on the shortcut that before we were able to pass the accident site, the damaged cars were towed away and traffic on the Interstate flowed ahead. Cars and trucks we had been stuck behind in the traffic jam now passed us up.

Taking the shortcut had actually cost us time.

Isn’t that often the case in life as well?

Sometimes life’s problems cause a traffic jam in the progress to my goals. God tells me to trust Him. He reminds me to wait–He has everything under control. But I get impatient and try to elbow my way past God’s plan. I rely on my own puny self-sufficiency instead of God’s almighty power.

As I have thought about this, I can see three reasons why I should avoid shortcuts in life:

  • Forcing my way ahead, may seem more productive, but may prevent me from learning valuable lessons. Taking the shortcut may seem faster (waiting always seems like a waste of time, right?), but it may also shortcut important life lessons only available during the waiting period. Psalm 25:5 says, “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long” (emphasis added).
  • Impatience may lead me to disobedience and missing God’s blessing. In the Old Testament, the prophet Samuel instructed King Saul to wait seven days when Samuel would return to offer the sacrifice. But Saul didn’t wait (1 Samuel 13) and in so doing lost the Lord’s blessing on his dynasty.
  • Doing things in my my own way and my own timetable may rob me of an opportunity to watch God in a marvelous, miraculous way. Psalm 52:9 says, “I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly” (emphasis added).

I hate waiting. But if a shortcut leads me away from God’s purpose for my the life. the shortcut is worse than the waiting. If an alternative route takes me away from God’s peaceful presence it isn’t worth it.

I’m making an effort to avoid detours. To ignore shortcuts. If God asks me to wait, I will say yes. He promises to provide the best route possible. He assures me His path is best.

Next step: Think about where in your life you are waiting right now. What shortcuts are you tempted to take? Write a prayer asking God to help you avoid them and to stay on the path He desires for your life.

 

The One Thing Keeping You From The Life You Want

eyes of love

Once upon a time a rich young ruler comes to Jesus. This man had everything: money, power, youth. Maybe he was even not-too-bad looking.

But even though it seemed like he had everything anyone could want–he knew he was missing something.

He came to Jesus with a burning question

“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17)

This young man knew that the things he had wouldn’t last forever. He needed eternal life.

Jesus gave the searching man a rather standard answer: Follow the commandments. Don’t murder. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Honor your father and mother.

The young man thought: Good. I’ve got this. He told Jesus, “I’ve done all those things since I was a boy.”

But Jesus knew there was one thing that was holding the man back from the life he really wanted. There was one thing that was distracting him from his real life. So Jesus looked at the young man and said:

“You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)

The rich young ruler went away despondent. Because this was the one thing he could not do.

one thing2I totally get that young man. Not that I’m rich. Or powerful. Even youth has pretty much passed me by. But there have often been things in my life that have distracted me from my real life–the amazing, beautiful life that Jesus wants me to have. Sometimes Jesus has asked me to surrender things I held tightly–in order to wholeheartedly follow Him.

And often I have been exactly like that man that met Jesus. I have said no. I’ve hung onto whatever I thought it was I couldn’t live without. Music career. Pursuit of dream house. Wanting family close.

But when I’ve hung onto those dreams, those desires–I discovered that didn’t actually make me happier. They only pulled me away from Christ. I couldn’t follow Jesus closely because I was dragging around the weight of my own will, my own expectations.

Usually I come to my senses and realize that a life of following Jesus is better than any other path. I eventually release that one thing that is holding me back from the life I really want–the life God has planned for me.

What are holding onto? If Jesus spoke to you and said, “You lack one thing. Go and surrender _________” What would that one thing be?

If Jesus spoke to you and said, 'You lack one thing. Go and surrender __________' What would that one thing be? Click To Tweet

It’s always difficult to surrender things we hold dear. But there is one phrase in Mark’s account of the rich young ruler that makes it a bit easier.

Mark wrote “Jesus, looking at him, loved him” (Mark 10:21).

When I struggle to surrender whatever God is asking me to let go, I remember Jesus’ love. I picture Him–looking at me with eyes of love–holding out His hands to take whatever burdens He has asked me to relinquish.

Jesus doesn’t ask me to release my desires or my possessions because He wants to make me miserable. He asks me to release them because, in His love, He knows the one thing that is keeping me from the life I really want.

Next step: If Jesus spoke to you and said, “You lack one thing. Go and surrender _________” What would that one thing be? Spend a few minutes basking in Jesus’ love for you. Then write a prayer surrendering that one thing–the one thing that is keeping you from the life you really want.

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If you would like to learn more about avoiding distractions and living a focused life, check out a FREE lesson that shares the one habit that changed my life more than any other. 

This five-page lesson will help you:

  • Discover the one Faith-Focus Habit that can immediately make a difference in your daily peace and clarity.

AND

  • Take the first step toward living out God’s plan for your life and ignoring all the trivial paths that side-track you from your true purpose.

Click on the button below to get this FREE lesson:

download your free lesson!

 

 

 

 

 

When You’re Distracted By Your Desires

Trust in the Lord

There was a time when I wanted a new house more than anything. It wasn’t that the house we lived in was a hovel. It fact it was a two-story, four-bedroom, two-full-bath residence with a big backyard. The trouble was—it was old. And just a mile away, developers were constructing a brand-new subdivision of luxury homes. Suddenly, all the little flaws in my house were magnified. The windows that were painted shut were infuriating. The floor plan was aggravating. The well water that periodically turned my laundry orange was maddening.

I began to obsess about getting a new house. I lost sleep as I fantasized about a new place to live. I worried about saving money for a down payment. I failed to find anything good about my current home and in the process misplaced any tranquility I might have possessed. My new-house-obsession was a distraction from my real life.

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 37:4:

Delight yourself in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart.

A new house was definitely one of the desires of my heart. Every time I tried to open the windows I wished for a new house. Whenever I tried to clean the rust stains off the tub I hoped for a new home. I kept praying that God would answer that desire.

But although I knew verse 4 of Psalm 37 by memory, I had forgotten about verse 3:

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

God promises to give me the desires of my heart, but first He asks me to trustHim.

Lately I’ve been finding that when I’m having trouble trusting God, the best thing I can do is be honest with Him. When I’m distracted by things that I want, I can stuff those desires down because they’re not spiritual. I can avoid praying about them because they don’t seem like something God would care about.

But of course, God knows the desires of my heart anyway. So the best thing I can do is bring my whole wish list to Him. Even if the list has things that seem trivial or (gasp!) worldly, when I talk to God about them, He can help me sort them out.

distractingdesiresThis is more than just asking God to give me everything on the list.

It’s giving Him the list.

It’s trusting that in His love, He will know which of those things are good. It’s having faith that He will answer my prayers when the time is right.

You know, I struggled with new-house-distraction for a long time. But after I decided to trust God to give me what I needed, I learned to see its good points. And a couple of years after that, God blessed our family with a brand new house.

When I tell my gracious heavenly Father that I’m ready to trust Him, that’s when my heart changes. When I give God my desires, that’s when they lose their grip on my soul. When I hand God my list, my distracting desires give way to peace.

Next step: What distracting desires have a grip on your soul? Write down your list of wants. Then give it to God, tell Him you trust Him to give you what is best–at the right time.

 

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If you would like to learn more about avoiding distractions and living a focused life, check out a FREE lesson that shares the one habit that changed my life more than any other. 

This five-page lesson will help you:

  • Discover the one Faith-Focus Habit that can immediately make a difference in your daily peace and clarity.

AND

  • Take the first step toward living out God’s plan for your life and ignoring all the trivial paths that side-track you from your true purpose.

Click on the button below to get this FREE lesson:

download your free lesson!

 

Where To Take Your Complaints

Knowing where to take your complaints is the difference between frustration and peace.

It all started with a box of dishwasher detergent. We bought a new box of the stuff and soon began noticing a change in our dishes. I grumbled to my husband that our brightly colored plastic tumblers were no longer brightly colored. Instead they looked like the surface had been etched. I thought perhaps the formula of the offending detergent was too high in abrasives.

I called the company to complain, hoping that I would not only get my money back for the offending detergent, but also for my ruined glasses. (Never mind that these plastic tumblers were almost twenty years old. It was the principle of the thing.)

The pleasant customer service representative asked that I send a sample of the detergent to the manufacturer along with some of the tumblers. I was certain that the company would acknowledge the problem and send us money to buy new glasses. However, what we received back in the mail was our own cardboard box with the old tumblers in them. Only now they were as vivid as before the problem detergent. Inside the box was an explanation that the company had not found the tumblers to be scratched, merely coated with a soap scum. They had soaked the dishes in a mildly acidic solution and the gray film was now removed. I felt a little silly for complaining about soap scum, but I was glad to have the problem solved even if I didn’t get my twenty-year-old tumblers replaced for free.

Simply griping about the lousy new dish detergent to my husband did nothing to fix the problem. But complaining to the manufacturer did. I needed to take my complaints to the right person.

King David knew this as well. He wrote in Psalm 142:

With my voice I cry out to the LORD;

with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.

I pour out my complaint before him;

I tell my trouble before him. (v. 1-2)

“Now wait a minute!” I can hear you say. “King David, a man after God’s own heart, was complaining? I thought Christians weren’t supposed to grumble!

 Here’s what I think. God is definitely displeased when we complain about our lives “behind His back,” effectively displaying displeasure with His provision and grace. But if we come to Him directly and pour out our concerns honestly, He can reassure us of His love and goodness.

Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira writes in her book, Grumble Hallelujah,

 “Grieving, shedding tears, emptying ourselves of hurt seems to clear up room for God to work.” 

When I feel like complaining, I now try to go straight to the Manufacturer. I “pour out my complaint before the Lord.” I lay out all my feelings, my gripes, my sadness.

But I do it with the knowledge that God can do something about it. He can change the situation, fix the problem, or simply comfort my soul. Pouring out my complaint makes room for God’s consolation and reassurance.

Look at the end of Psalm 142:

Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! (v. 7)

Being a chronic complainer can leave you in a prison of discontent. But pouring out your complaints before God with the expectation that He is going to do something wonderful frees your spirit.

So take your complaints straight to the Manufacturer and watch Him work!

Question: What do you do when you feel like complaining?

 This article was adapted from my book, Bless These Lips. Bless These Lips

3 Positive Side-Effects of Giving Up Grumbling

SIDE-EFFECTS

Complaining seems to be a national pastime. We moan when the weather is lousy. We grumble about traffic. We gripe about disappointments.

Why do we do this?

Maybe it’s because complaining garners sympathy. Maybe it’s because it feels good to get something off your chest. Maybe it’s because it’s easy conversation–usually everyone else joins in with their own gripes.

Maybe it’s because you’re like me and you think: If I don’t complain, what will I talk about?

But even though it’s easy to grumble, we all know we should give it up.

The apostle Paul wrote:

Do everything without complaining or arguing.

Philippians 2:14

That pretty much covers it, doesn’t it? God commands us to do everything without grumbling.

Gulp.

Fortunately, for those of us who need a little extra incentive, Paul tells us there are positive side-effects to ending our griping sessions. Look at the next verse in Philippians:

“So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” Philippians 2:15

Paul told the Philippians that there are three positive side-effects to giving up griping:

  1. We will become blameless and pure. Blameless means without fault. When we give up complaining, our lives will not be open to criticism. Pure means our lives will not be a mixture of good and evil. When I use my imagination to see myself through God’s eyes when I’m complaining, I see someone given who has been given the greatest gifts of salvation and life forever in heaven and still complains about the weather. A mixture of good and evil. Without my constant griping, my life is a better reflection of Christ’s purity.
  2. We will be children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation. When we’re complaining we look just like everyone else. If give up our griping we will stand out in a society without faith, without hope. People will recognize we have something special. A friend of mine who became a Christian as an adult said that before she knew Jesus, she didn’t see any benefits to becoming a Christian. She thought Christianity was just following a bunch of rules. She saw that Christians still had problems. She couldn’t figure out why someone would subject themselves to all those rules if they didn’t get any benefits. When things don’t go our way, we have an opportunity to show non-Christians the benefits of being a child of God. Even though we have problems, we also have a Father who goes through them with us. Do our lives demonstrate that truth when we are complaining?
  3. We will shine like stars in the universe. Without complaining, our light will shine brighter, we will be more able to point people to the Light of the world. Complaining will only dim our brightness.

When we abandon the habit of complaining every time something irritates us or someone disappoints us, we can shine a light on the One who is more than willing to give us the grace to face every trial. When we give up grumbling, we exhibit trust in the God who will hold our hand through every rainy day, every bump in the road, every painful disappointment.

 give up grumbling

 

How to Like Your Life

Learn the best way to learn to like your life--right now.

Prefer the given.

I read this phrase in the book Grumble Hallelujah and it has stuck with me.

I loved the sound of it. But I didn’t love the reality of it. If life gives me the equivalent of the snack size sack of M & Ms I complain that I don’t have the super-size bag. I’m not satisfied with a “Tall” size life–I want the “Venti” size.

There are some things that I would like to change in my life if I could. I would prefer to be able to eat chocolate every day without gaining weight. I would prefer that my book be on the New York Times bestseller list. I would prefer that my grandchildren would live across town instead of half-way around the world.

But I believe God is speaking to me through the phrase: “Prefer the Given.” After all, it sounds a lot like Paul’s words in Philippians:

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.(Philippians 4:11)

Discontent is wanting something different. And wanting something different is pushing back what God has placed in my life and saying, “No thank you.”

But to be content is to prefer the given. To prefer the given is to accept what is in my life right now with open hands.

Learning to like your life means accepting what God has given.

When I’m discontent I’m always looking for a way out. I’m searching for something better.

But what if I preferred what God has given? Would my searching mechanism then be busy looking for hidden blessings in the situation? Would I scrutinize the problem for a lesson to be learned? Would I eagerly look for an opportunity to meet God in a new way? 

Prefer the given.

That is the way to truly like your life.

When You’re Feeling Unsettled, Dissatified

 

When I'm feeling unsettled, dissatisfied, Jesus knows what I need the most.

This month I’m reading through the gospel of Mark. I’m slowly digesting one chapter a day. I’m allowing God’s words to unsettle my soul enough to draw me closer to Him and receive His grace.

It didn’t take long for the unsettling to happen. On the second day of my journey through this short book I read a story that made me uncomfortable. Mark gives the account of four strong men who come to Jesus bringing along a friend who couldn’t walk–a paralytic.

The very first words Jesus said to the man lying helplessly on the stretcher were, “Your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5).

Now put yourself in the position of the man on the mat. Were those the words you were hoping to hear? Probably not. Most likely the words you wanted to hear were, “You are healed.”

But Jesus knew what the man needed most. What the paralytic needed more than healing was grace. What he needed more than the ability to walk was the ability to proceed on God’s path of life. What he needed most was forgiveness.

Like the man on the mat I come to Jesus with many pressing needs. I am convinced that if God would just grant this one request I would be happy. Okay, maybe two things. Or three.

But Jesus knows what I need most:

Forgiveness

unsettled soul

And because He died an awful death in my place, because He defeated our most terrible foe, because He rose triumphant, forgiveness is available. Because the Holy Spirit worked faith in my heart and drew me closer to the cross, forgiveness is mine.

If you know the story of the paralytic, you know that Jesus didn’t make the man wait long before He also told him, “Get up and take your mat and go home” (Mark 2:12). The man received what he needed the most and what he probably wanted the most.

But what if Jesus had not healed the lifeless limbs? Would the man have been content? Would he been disappointed but then realize that peace in his soul was worth far more than strength in his legs?

The reason this story unsettled my soul is that I fear I would not have been satisfied with just the gift of forgiveness. I fear this because I often go to Jesus with what some perceived need and forget He has already given me what I require most. The desperate longings in my soul can seem more important than my most desperate need for forgiveness. And so I am not content.

Perhaps you can relate. You are facing loss. Pain. Discouragement. Your spirit is not content.

Maybe together we can pray that we would realize that God has already met our most crucial need. That He has given us grace. Healing for our souls. Life in His love.

Pray for contentment for the greatest gift: Forgiveness.