With God in your world, you aren’t an accident or an incident; you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God.
-Max Lucado, In the Grip of Grace
Read Philippians 4:10-11.
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up each morning and be content with every aspect of your life—to be satisfied with your physical appearance, athletic ability, friendships, marriage, kids, job, house, and car? Unfortunately, very few people experience true fulfillment in their lives. For most, it only comes in fleeting moments. Some of us seem to seesaw between days of satisfaction and seasons of feeling like a complete failure.
The tendency we have when faced with difficulties and disappointments is to take our eyes off God and focus on our circumstances. We let our self-worth collapse when someone we love rejects us, or we have blown it spiritually, or we find our best efforts unnoticed and unappreciated. We must learn to base our worth on who we are in Christ rather than on the approval and acceptance of others.
Several years ago, my sister went through a tough time. She felt emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained, and even questioned her purpose in life. Rather than reflecting on God’s great love and His blessings, she began to dissect her life and focus on her shortcomings. She didn’t like the way she looked, how much she weighed, or the color of her hair. She was tired of her car. She didn’t even like the pattern on her dishes.
In her search for fulfillment, she began to pull away from the One who could meet her deepest needs. She hoped to remedy her problems and find contentment in her own efforts and strength. After deep soul searching and the counsel and encouragement of friends, she was reminded that contentment could and must be found apart from life’s circumstances.
In light of what Jesus Christ suffered for us, our circumstances may not be as overwhelming as we like to think. Do you realize that you are a divine work of art (Ephesians 2:10)? Do you understand your value to God? The next time you decide that everything in your life needs to be changed, consider the possibility that the inner ache you feel may be spiritual. You may need a deeper love relationship with God, whose acceptance and love is free.
Realize today that the relentless search for new things can never fill the emptiness in your heart. Pray for contentment that is not dependent on your circumstances.