Contentment in the morning


It's morning and I find myself standing, barefoot on the linoleum kitchen floor. Microscopic coffee grounds attach themselves to my feet, but I'm still too groggy to care. All is quiet in the house, everyone's asleep except me and the sun. I start to make coffee and stare out the kitchen window.

It's been several weeks since that night I laid back flat against the bus bunk, searching for God's face in the pitch blackness. Several weeks of learning how to seek God's face where I don't expect him. And several weeks in, I still feel yearning for intimacy with God deeper and more steadfast than what I have right now. 

Coffee beans happily crackle down into grounds and the kettle whistles. I lean against the counter and look out the kitchen window in contentment. 

Then it strikes me how little I feel this at peace, how little I feel this happy with my circumstances. 

But in reality, it's not my circumstances that are bad or even lacking. In that moment, there with the sunlight filtering through glass jars stacked with lemons, I recognize the culprit. Ugly and old as time, it lurks in the caverns of my heart-- discontentment.

It's a discontented heart that persists on finding the flaws, the weaknesses, the boring and mundane. Uncovering desires and longings, it feeds hostility toward the present. It blames God, my job, my body, my husband, my friends and family-- anything!-- anything other than myself. 

Discontentment throws up a wall between my heart and the heart of God. I choose it over being humbled by the abundant good. 

I shift uncomfortably. My coffee is getting cold, but I set it down and skim through the pages until I find what I'm looking for. 

"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him." 

I read the words, let them sink in. 

Life changes, it's good, it's bad, it's blissful and utterly painful. But contentment isn't easy-- it's rooted in faith, faith that God sees and has a plan. 

This life breeds discontentment. It drove Adam and Eve out of the garden. It kept the Israelites out of the promised land. It keeps me from experiencing intimacy with God. I can't ask for nearness with one breath and curse his gifts with the next. 

This morning I'm not sure if I have that faith. But I know I want it. Whatever it is that needs to be cultivated in me, I invite it. I invite this intimate revival.