BLESSED AND CONTENT
AUTHOR – BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 – BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT Shakespir
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Special thanks to Shila and Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration
1 – IT’S ONLY FAIR
2 – THANK YOU
3 – SO WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
4 – CONTENTMENT CHANGES THINGS
5 – IT’S SO HARD TO SEE WHEN MY EYES ARE ON ME
6 – HUMILITY BREEDS CONTENTMENT
It’s Only Fair
There are two words we have perpetually available to us within the context of our God given vocabularies that feed our souls while simultaneously blessing the heart of God. Almost as if possessing magical powers, they have the ability to change the landscape of our moments on planet earth! It’s been said that if they were uttered at every “appropriate moment”, we may never say anything else!
When I arrive in heaven I want to ask God why we humans naturally gravitate to the negative. It’s quite amazing when we consider all we are blessed with, that the “what we don’t have” is our default point and preferred choice of focus. It’s as if we need de-programming to evaluate our lives in a fair way.
When meeting those unique specimens who don’t or won’t adhere to the natural mindset, we quickly dismiss them as likely being from another planet or medicated. We then consider them pleasantly but more often than not, annoyingly positive.
Let’s all step out of the boat of naturalism and get radically different by saying these two words as often as possible. THANK YOU! There’s a good chance by doing so, we could start a new and fresh trend. One that is based on fairness! Jesus said: “The truth will set you free”. The truth is we are blessed beyond measure!
A young Mother took her toddler by the hand and escorted him into the kitchen. The little guy didn’t see it coming and thought his Mother’s request to be very strange. “I want you to pour yourself a glass of water and drink it all up”! Upon completing the task Mom asked: “Do you have anything to say”? “No I don’t think so” said the boy. “How about thank you”, she queried. “It’s only water Mom”, and the lesson was on!
“Are you aware that tens of millions of people in the world would think they had died and gone to heaven if they were able to do what you just did? My Son, there are no blessings too small to skip a sincere thank you for. What is seen as small to you is huge to someone else”.
We can very easily be that little boy, therefore the awareness of our blessed state and status is emphatically important to our contentment.
Not only the blessings themselves but equally so our acknowledgement of them go hand in hand and are inseparable when it comes to our sense of well-being. Before retiring and while working in the public domain I was often asked, “ Don’t you ever complain”? “To busy being thankful”, I’d respond. Positive thinking? No. Truthful thinking!
So What’s The Big Deal?
If I’m blessed and don’t acknowledge it, I’m still blessed and isn’t that the point? No, but you’re half right but the second half missing defeats the purpose of being blessed in the first place.
If in a relationship you are loved by your significant other but it’s not reciprocal on your part, is that the point? You see there would be an incomplete equation lingering in the atmosphere to be dealt with. In time the missing “half” would be the death of the “whole”.
All blessings have a dual purpose. Within the extent of our thankfulness we are acknowledging to our hearts how magnificently we are loved, valued, and provided for by our great God! We equally bless His heart in the process. Equation complete! Next stop, contentment!
Contentment Changes Things
Some might think contentment is a very dormant, dreamy like, reality denying, state of mind for the unaware to walk in. Kind of a tip-toe through the tulips existence. The frog on our book cover isn’t sleeping he’s resting peacefully confident in his Creator’s provision! Our little friend has a quietness in his spirit which allows him the freedom to observe all he has to be thankful for! If we are always found looking for more, we become blinded to what we actually have.
Contentment removes anxiety, fear and worry, replacing them with trust. A trust that has been fortified and substantiated with our never ending confession of blessedness! Stillness of soul is a delightful dynamic to walk in as we sojourn on this planet. Unique for sure and yet available!
Our once wasted energy we were using to fret now can be re-directed at others to bless. You can see how thankfulness enhanced contentment has multiple ramifications within its context. It blesses God, us and others simultaneously!
Included in contentment’s qualities is a sweet fragrance that tends to non-threateningly invite others into its comfort zone. It feels like a safe place for them to enter. It welcomes rather than repels. Contentment by choice, is a very powerful lifestyle to embrace and has a major impact on those that surround our lives.
The truth is: You can’t bless if you don’t believe with all your heart that you are blessed! You can’t confess what you don’t believe in your heart is true! Out of the heart the mouth speaks.
So the question isn’t “are we” but rather what have we been telling our hearts “we are”? One leads to the other! There are very few things we are in complete control of but those few are massively life changing. Our attitudes would be at the top of that list. We can spent our lives persistently noticing the negatives and shortcomings or refuse and focus on the other side of the ledger. A visual that is far more extensive in its inclusions!
Paul the Apostle said: I’ve learned to be content in “all things’’. He stated that from his prison cell so I’m thinking, why can’t we say the same from whatever our lot is in life! I believe we can!
We live in a world that thinks excessive thankfulness is radical foolishness. Be aware: That same world spends billions every year on therapists and medication. Just because we live in it doesn’t mean we have to be of it! We can abstain from its status quo mindsets and by choice establish our own! Dancing to a different drummer can cause us to stop dancing in never ending circles!
It’s So Hard To See When My Eyes Are On Me
We have so much to applaud God for in regards to our lives! If we walk with eyes wide open there’s still a lot of WOW to be overwhelmed by! It’s good for the soul to be overwhelmed!
Have you ever had this happen to you? I’ve gone to the grocery store and have found myself staring at the very thing I’m there to get but for some reason unable to see it. I ask an employee what isle the item might be in only to discover with amazement I had already covered that area and was standing right in front of it. I surmise it must have come out of nowhere, as if perhaps hiding from me on my first attempt.
So, was the item there? Yes, but I couldn’t see it because my attention was distracted by the “what’s next” on my shopping list! While I was looking at the item my mind was six isles away.
Life can be like that. But it doesn’t have to be if we will simply applaud God for all He’s done realizing we didn’t do it on own, thus making us graciously blessed!
Perhaps it’s just me, but looking in the mirror non-stop for any spots of imperfection remaining in my life causes the exact opposite result that one might think. In doing so I lose my ability to see all that has been done as I fix my focus on what hasn’t. I lose my ability to gaze on the cross where the only “perfect one” hung on my behalf. I can’t seem to see them simultaneously and rectify in my heart their differing opinions.
My true love for Jesus is found in the visual of the cross. You see I do what I do out of my love for Him. The mirror tells me I’m not good enough. It always will. The cross confirms what the mirror suggests but with an answer. A perfect answer that I cannot add to without taking away from. Interestingly the mirror will never tell me what I so need to know. I’m forgiven and loved. It’s in my being forgiven and loved that I find my thankfulness, peace and contentment.
The bible calls us the bride of Christ, thus spiritually married to Him. Our behavior is dictated by the quality of the love content in that relationship. If the cross isn’t sufficient to insure my love for Jesus, then all the mirrors, self-analysis, and lectures in the world won’t change a thing.
Our motivation for desired change is the cross. It’s where Jesus loved us first. It’s where God said you can now call me Father and I will call you child. Every heart felt expression we have toward Him, projects from that event of over two thousand years ago. Amazingly old and yet still amazingly relevant to this day!
When I hear all the coaxing going on, I wonder if we may have skipped step one and are now perplexed and frustrated with the struggles people are having with their devotion to Christ. I wonder if we need to be more devoted or more in love which activates the devotion? We can get the cart before the horse folks. Constant coaxing suggests something profoundly important is missing in the equation. Love!
Humility Breeds Contentment
Even though the term humility conjures up a distasteful visual in our souls, the truth is, it’s our friend. As a bonus, it doesn’t even taste bad but rather serves as our welcomed companion as we walk out our individual relationships with Jesus.
In short: Humility is our “perspective compass”. It separates thankfulness and glory into their appropriate folders. It’s not degrading but rather uplifting. It’s not us grovelling for crumbs off the floor but rather with thankfulness, eating at the banquet table prepared by God. We didn’t prepare the feast, nor did we contribute to it, nor did we earn it, but by the grace of God have been invited to partake in its bountiful supply! Its spiritual riches are without measure and yet there we amazingly sit as guests at the King of Kings and Lord of Lords table.
It is He who has purchased our legitimacy for being there. We did nothing to qualify apart from embracing His purchase. Our inclusion has nothing to do with our specialness but rather His. All in attendance point to the One who sits on the throne at the end of the table, totally cognisant that His unmerited favor is their only reason for the seat they sit on. It’s an exquisite “gift” and within its status as a ‘’gift”, it cannot be earned by performance related behavior.
We therefore find ourselves immersed in thankfulness as unmerited recipients and content that the gift’s security is found in its Giver!
Humilities perspective imparting essence has a wonderful way of keeping the record straight. The thankfulness comes from us while the glory and adoration goes to Jesus. Our love for Him is no more than reciprocally appropriate in the light of His love for us. We realize if we didn’t earn the seat, it won’t be us that maintains the seat! So we rest in His provision, content that its Provider will not recant on His promise to complete the good work which He has begun in us.
I’m constantly amazed at where I am today. You see I know how far I’ve come! I’m even more amazed when I humbly and honestly admit to myself it didn’t happen because I rolled up my sleeves and “tried harder”. In fact just the opposite. By faith, “trusting more” in God’s ability to change me super-naturally is all I did. I exchanged the “whipping myself” into shape mindset for allowing God to “love me” into shape.
I trust with all my heart He will continue to be “the changer” in my life as we go forward, hand in hand together. That way I get to thankfully enjoy all the changes while He gets all the praise for them. Humbly, proportionately, and appropriately correct in viewpoint as I peruse my life!
Oh how my flesh with its chest puffed out would love to extol its major contribution to the end result. If you knew me you would truly understand that thought is laughable!
When Jesus said: I can do nothing apart from Him, I took that statement justifiably personally as if it were specifically said for my consumption!
There’s no doubt in my mind, I am totally useless without Him. The good news? I’m not without Him! Those who surround my life should be eternally thankful for that truth!
A few paragraphs previous I mentioned the phrase: “Where I am today”. And where might that be you ask? Aware of all I am blessed with, with the unquenchable need to express my thanks to God for its provision. Unless He should add hours to the day, at present I seem to run out of time to spend time meditating on the other stuff!
You see regardless of our present day lot in life, two thousand years ago Jesus came down to us when we couldn’t make our way up to Him. He, motivated by love, voluntarily by choice, made Himself nothing so we could be something. That being true have you ever considered, we must have been something very special to Him before His arrival. We didn’t get special after the fact, we already were! Long before we ever knew Him or cared to know Him, we were loved by Him. Thus we are and have been, forever blessed! Whatever the complexities of life have brought our way they by no means trump that truth! Therefore why would I not be thankfully content!
OTHER FREE EBOOKS BY BILL TAYLOR
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK ONE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK TWO
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK THREE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK FOUR
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK FIVE
THE ROSE AND THE THORN
WILLING HEARTS – NO LIMITS
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
THE SECOND CROSS
BULLS IN CHINA SHOPS
FAITH IS A JOURNEY
THE HEART IS SACRED
REJOICE – IT’S A NEW DAY!