Saturday, April 9, 2011

discontentment

As the children squawk, "I want to sit by you for the movie mama!" wrestling and pushing and climbing over each other to get to me, I try to pry them apart and make room for everyone.


"Easy kiddos. There's enough of mommy to go around," I say. I say it quite often, yet they never seem to believe me.

They struggle with each other, always needing, always asking mommy for whatever it is they need. I give what I can, though sometimes they must wait, and sometimes they must hear the word "no." Nobody is really starving, nobody is naked, and nobody's been left at the grocery store. Isn't that proof, dear children, that there really is enough of mommy to go around?

Except, honestly, there's not.

Were it possible, sheerly by my own effort, to make my children get and stay content, I think it would have happened by now. But most often, at the end of the day, my efforts are spent, and still they are not content. I say this not to play the martyr. I say it because again, I see myself in them.

I am also not content. I am restless, I am disapointed, or I am frustrated, every single day. There is usually someone or something to blame for this. The children are uncooperative. My husband is too busy. My house is messy. My head hurts. My dog ran away, again.

If these things were not so, would I be content then? Would I, if my husband spent 100% of his day doing my bidding and telling me how great I am? Would I be content if my children were kind and clean and healthy, and my body never hurt, and the stupid dog stayed where I put him? The truth is, even if today was the first day that every single thing in my life went to plan, tomorrow would not be that way, and the bit of contentment I felt today would disappear.

My children see me as the Ultimate Need Meeter in their lives, but when I daily fail to meet every one of their needs, they are disappointed. Their desire for their mother to meet all of their needs will surely change as they grow, and is already changing. Yet restless striving for contentment will not go away. They will try to settle themselves in their friends; in their studies, in their young loves. They will someday try to find contentment in their spouse, or their career, or even their own children.

I like that they need me, but my children need more than just me. And I need more than just them.

What is it we need to be truly content? We want our needs met now, and we want to know whatever needs we have in the future will be met in the future. We are restless because even if our health and our relationships are intact today, we have no assurance that things will go well for us tomorrow. Those we love are unpredictable. Sometimes they sin and fail us; sometimes they get sick and fail us; sometimes they are called by God to serve people other than us. Sometimes God calls them to Himself, and away from us. This is simply the reality of life in our fallen world.


But God does not fail us. Only He can give us our daily bread today, and only He can promise to do it for us again tomorrow. The gifts He gives may not be those gifts we think we need so badly. It may not be all the motherly attention the children want, it may not be the clean house I want, but He abudantly gives to His children those things that are truly best. He gives forgiveness and destroys sin. He gives and sustains life. He gives breath to we who are but dust. He gives us Jesus.


Heavenly Father, teach us to desire the good things that You have to give us. The troubles in this fallen world and the confusion of our own hearts create discontentment for us daily. Help us to look to You for comfort and security during our journey here. Mercifully provide daily bread to both body and soul, and sustain us in Jesus until that glorious day when Your Kingdom finally comes. In the name of Jesus, the Bread of Life, Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I so hear you. I too have six kids. And I often feel that there is not enough of me. And then I go to the school and feel judged by teachers who only have one or two children that perhaps my house is too chaotic or busy for homework. It kills me a little inside.
    And then I hug them all up (except the teenager...because, well, he's a teenager) and know that I am just what they need. No more, no less.

    ReplyDelete

Web Analytics