Wishing away periods of discontent will unfold missed opportunities with God. Having unshakable hope In God will give us contentment and peace.
Finding Unshakable Hope in the Waiting
In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I desired, like most couples, to start a family of our own.
It took not one year, not two years, but almost three years of trying to have our first child. After a year of trying on our own, we sought out a specialist to help us get pregnant. Blood work, temperature checks, calendar plotting, and anticipating hope, but missing it month after month.
It was a struggle. I kept saying; “I can’t wait for this to happen. I just can’t wait”
The worst part of all these years was watching cousins, friends, and close family members announce with excitement the news that they were expecting a child. How could this be happening when we have been trying longer than all of these people combined? It wasn’t fair!
My heart sank each and every time. I remember one particular outpouring of news. It was Christmas time, and we were at a large family gathering on my husband’s side. His grandmother received the cutest little card from his cousin and in it was – you guessed it; another announcement. They were expecting a baby.
My husband’s grandmother began to cry happy tears and relayed the inscription inside the card to everyone present. While I watched and heard the frenzy of pure joy erupt, I snuck away to the nearest bathroom. I shut the door and immediately burst into tears. Just that week, we found out again, it would be another month of trying ahead of us.
After a tiresome journey, Praise God, we did indeed receive our little miracle. It was a long time of transition. Now holding in my arms a six-month-old boy, our doctor explained we should try for another child if we wanted one as it may take a few years.
We listened and became pregnant that first month and delivered our second baby as a preemie, but healthy. Because of this, my children are 14 months apart. YIKES!
Instead of relishing through each early developmental stage of my children’s lives, I heard myself saying those words again, “I can’t wait for this stage to be over.” “I can’t wait until we are done with diapers.” “I can’t wait until they can feed themselves.”
Even now, as my kids are much older, I am saying, “I can’t wait until this fall season of busyness is over.” “I can’t wait for a signed book contract.” “I can’t wait for the Christmas season to start.”
God is for your good
Does it seem like rushing is our best way of doing things? We want to rush past a stage, rush through a meeting, rush through being single, and hurry to complete tasks, just so we can be done with it all. We want God to bless us as we persist and make it through, yet another inconvenience.
It’s like instead of climbing the mountain, we are paying for a ticket to ride a helicopter to the top. And what we just did was completely bypass the valley in between. Valleys filled with beautiful nature trails, springs of living water, and wooden bridges of contentment.
Instead of enjoying the current season I was in; I kept wishing it away faster with my words. I have a hard time believing God likes it when we take our spunk and gumption and use it to bulldoze ourselves through anything. Knowing God is having Him on our side.
Jesus explains and describes the life experience we ought to have;
“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. . . . [For] your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” – Luke 12:22, 30–31
Then Paul, who was suffering in prison, goes on to tell us:
“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance, and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:11–13
Getting ahead of the Lord doesn’t solve our problems, it just makes them worse.
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, contentment is being happy with what one has or is; not desiring something more or different; satisfied. I was feeling the complete opposite – discontentment! Sure, I was happy. I received what I prayed for and continued to feel as if I was lacking.
With urgency, my mind required a shift in circumstances. As the saying goes; “the grass could be greener on the other side.” This may, of course, be true in some situations. However, when we are not content, we miss out on:
- opportunities to trust in the Lord
- being present in our current standing
- enjoying what we have and who we are in Him
- and, most importantly, God’s abundance
When we try to rush past all the things within our control, we often miss God in the thick of our circumstances.
Having unshakable hope
When we get ahead of God, it proves our desires are more imperative than His. And I know deep down inside we want to commit everything we do to the Lord. But as we do best, we allow our circumstantial evidence to rule our decisions first.
Hoping in God does not come naturally for sinners like us. We must preach it to ourselves frequently. It is easier to accept discouragement because we are human.
I love the way the Psalmists fought and wrestled to maintain their hope in God. It proves what we are facing today, maybe slightly different from ancient times, yet we equally are struggling just the same.
Having unshakable hope is knowing and accepting that God’s word is unbreakable.
Today, let’s make a pact together to stand firm with unshakeable hope to have contentment in all seasons. Instead of wishing away moments with our “I can’t waits…”, let’s be still and trust in the Lord with all our desires. Keeping our minds steadfast in His word.
For when our minds are steadfast, we will keep in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
Let’s Pray Together
Dear Heavenly Father,
Together, we thank you for today. Please forgive us for trying to rush past moments we do not desire and instead reach out to you. Help us to be still, waiting for Your will to be revealed rather than us running ahead of You. Remind us that our true worth, purpose, and contentment is found in You.
In all this, we ask in your precious name – Amen!
“Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4
Read More on Jen Schreiner
- How to Get Closer to God When You’re Feeling Distant
- God Rejoices When We Pray – The Power of Prayer
- When God’s Timing is Taking Too Long
- Finding Unshakable Hope in the Waiting
- Releasing Your Expectations into God’s Hands
Macmillian. (1999). Contentment. In Webster’s New World College Dictionary (4th Edition, p. 314).