Monday, April 20, 2015

The Highs and Lows of Life on Planet Earth - a new post by @ShelleyHendrix

"I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am." 

The Apostle Paul, Philippians 4:11 AMP

I realize I can't speak for you or for others, so here I am, speaking for myself: I haven't learned how to be content yet. I can honestly say that I am learning what it looks like to be "satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted," but I have - by no means - learned it fully yet. 

When I get hit by life's punches, I feel it. And many (most?) of the time, my knee-jerk response is still to throw my hands up in the air with a "what is up with this, God? This isn't fair!" accusation. 

While I am grateful for the growth I see in this area in my life, I'm also grateful to be on the journey to accepting (aka "being content") with the fact that I have not yet arrived. (Isn't it amazing to think that God, always perfectly content, is okay with this, too?)

I remember something I realized about 10 years ago as I agonized over my own immaturity and my own lack of ability to just go with the flow when life was "handing me lemons." I wanted to be upbeat and excited about making "lemonade," but I was sulking and pouting; and then moved into giving myself a verbal beating for not being more mature than I was.

It was in the midst of beating myself up that I cried out to God and said, "I'm so sorry, God. I wish I were more mature than this! I want to be further along in this journey than I am. I'm so embarrassed that I'm not better than I am and that it's taking so long!"

Immediately, a thought came to my mind that I believe wholeheartedly came from God's Spirit within me:

"Shelley, you only think you want to be more mature than you are. But the truth is, you want what Eve wanted - you want independence. You want to not need me so much."

Wow. I did not see that coming!

I had never before realized that in my quest for spiritual maturity, what I was really seeking after was to be strong enough, smart enough, educated enough, wise enough...enough all on my own! 

It dawned on me that this is a "Mission Impossible" if there ever was one! I was created to be in relationship with God and others, and therefore, I don't get to escape my need for Him. As I come to recognize His goodness through this relationship with Him, I also realize that I don't want to escape this dependence upon Him. 

If it were only for the "high's" of life, I may never come to recognize or appreciate my greatest longing - and that is to know and be fully known by my Heavenly Father. 

If you're currently in the "low's" of life on Planet Earth, I invite you to lean into your Heavenly Father with whatever amount of faith you currently possess and let Him be your guide to this place of learning to be content in any and every situation. 

I'd love to hear from you-- How is God speaking to your heart through the High's and Low's of Life on Planet Earth?

Grace and Peace,

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