Today’s reading in EDIFIED! is perfect for me.
“My soul finds rest in God alone.” Psalm 62:1
The Puritan writer Burroughs says that contentment is not what we have when looking back, able to see what God was doing through a difficult time. It is being at peace in the midst of difficulty and suffering without any visible clue as to what our Shepherd is doing, and in that knowledge vacuum resting in Him.
Knowing the character of God is enough. He whose wisdom created the world, made the human body and gave man dominion over the earth; He who did not give up when Adam sinned and twisted the whole of creation; He who secured salvation at huge personal cost, and loves us to the end, He is trustable when all else is hidden from our understanding.
Knowing You, Lord God, the great Yahweh, holy, glorious, entirely other, hater of sin, lover of the sinner—to know you is enough to give us contentment when everything goes wrong, when we suffer pain, when we are mistreated, when we fail and are, humanly speaking, hopeless.
Contentment is knowing the wisdom of your mind. You, O God, are the One who created the micro world of subatomic particles, who set the laws that govern their states. You made the molecules, formed the elements and brought out of them all we see, from microscopic animals to stars a million times bigger than our sun. You who have done this have enough wisdom to bring into my life what is right. I can trust you.
Contentment is knowing the power of your right arm. You, Lord Jesus, spoke and created all that we see, with its incredible variety, beauty and vastness. You hung, spun and run the earth. You ride, guide and hide the winds. You hold, mold and unfold events. You send, bend and end history.
Never defeated, never stretched, never inadequate, your power is immeasurable. In you we can trust.
Contentment is knowing the patience of your will. You have a plan, you will reveal it at the pace you know to be best. You will not rush, you will not be late, your timing is perfect. When nothing appears to be happening, you are at work on deep levels, persistently, patiently, powerfully bringing to pass events and conditions that will move history to the conclusion you have determined. We can trust you in your timing.
Contentment is knowing the greatness of your love. You are Agape Love itself: the commitment to act for the good of others, no matter how they may react. The wonder of your rich, deep, powerful, unending, gracious love is an ever-growing joy as we walk with you, learning of you from your Word, from your works, from your way.
Your strong, careful, overwhelming love is revealed in the goodness you give us daily: in being so kind when we give you pain with our sin and selfishness, in the grace you offer us moment by moment when we so often spurn it in pride. We see your love in the kindness you exercise in your correction of our stubborn and self-centered hearts. We can trust your heart of love.
As we climb the golden staircase of your grace, care and love, knowing you more and more each day, we can be content in you and in whatever you bring, whatever we suffer, whatever we lose, for you are good.
Prayer: “When all is meaningless, when all we do seems foolish, when pain obscures our vision, still our hearts to know your heart of love and grace. Help us then to rest in contentment. Glory be to you, the Great God of contentment, worthy of all worship and wonder and trust. Amen.”