Monday, April 22, 2013

The Grass is Always Greener

The grass is always greener on the other side.  It always seems that way doesn't it?  Right now, I struggle with being content in our apartment.  I am so ready to have a house, to start a family, to enter the next stage of our lives.  For others, it is a matter of more money - "I'll be content once I make just $5,000 more a year." Or maybe it is status - "I'll be content once I am VP of the company."  For most of us, we feel that something is lacking - "I will be content once ___(fill in the blank)___.  

But maybe we are looking for that contentment or success in the wrong place?

Psalm 4:6-8 
6 Many are saying, "Who will show us good?"
Lift up the light of Your contenance upon us, O Lord!
7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For you alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety. 

Verse 6 is two separate lines.  The first line "Who will show us good?" "is the wish of the worldling, the latter," lift up the light of your contenance upon us, O Lord!, is "the wish of the godly" (Clarke). Those people of the world do not know where to turn to for success, joy, and contentment.  They are forever and always miserable wondering who will ever show them any good.  For, "Giving in to the world's idea of success is an attempt to put a Band-Aid over a bullet wound" (Colin Creel, Perspectives).  True success and contentment can only be found in God: "I find now a happiness which earthly things could not produce...such inward happiness as they cannot boast who have got the highest increase of corn and wine" (Clarke).  

King David, the writer of this Psalm, was so joyous and content in Christ alone, that he slept peacefully without a worry in the world.  'Peace' in the Hebrew is translated from shalowm meaning "completeness, soundness, welfare, peace" (Strong's H7965).   Shalowm not only gives us this idea of peace, but of utter completeness - that is the ultimate contentment and success.  I don't know many people who could say they feel complete.  Because society has taught us that the grass is always greener on the other side, it is hard to focus on what truly matters.  It is next to impossible to remember where our true completeness, our success, our contentment, our joy...actually comes from.   You want "the true answer to contentment[?]  Accepting yourself as God made you" (Colin Creel, Perspectives).  To put it another way: "Contentment requires a decision to make the choice to be satisfied with who I am and what I have, rather than to be enslaved to what I lack" (Cindy Sanders of Atlanta, Georgia).  And what about success?  Well, "Where you turn in your moments of pain as well as celebratory moments will determine how successful you are in God's eyes" (Colin Creel, Perspectives).  

When we feel that we are lacking, when we feel that we need more - instead of wallowing and being miserable in what the world can do for us, we must turn to our Father in Heaven and cry out: Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord!  He will provide a completeness that will allow us to lie down and sleep....to dwell in safety forevermore.

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