I doubt anyone would want their tombstone to read “here lies Ellen Riley; she chased things.” I have really thought much of this over the past few days, and tonight when I read Thomas Boston “The hellish sin of discontent” it was so very clear- when we are discontent, we are in effect saying that it really would be best to dethrone God and place us in control. We are lashing out against His will in our lives. “What pleases God pleases them not; what is right in God’s eyes is evil in theirs.” Why do we feel we are lacking? Why does my heart ever cry out for just that one thing, the one forbidden fruit? The fruit does not appear evil; it appears plump and bursting with fresh juicy delight- but it is forbidden. What though God alone know the reason He gives it not? His will is perfect, and so we may rest in the hope that all He has ordained it best.
I see my own heart: I speak of seeing the enoughness of Christ, and for a time my heart bursts with that enoughness. His sufficiency is seen clearly; all that I have is Christ, and He is the only portion which will never leave me lacking. He is precisely what I need, and He is mine! I can never lack anything because His work has brought me to Him- what glorious truth!
Why, then, do my eyes shift so quickly? Why do I wish He had not ordained things as He has in areas? Why do I say in my heart, the struggles would be easier to bear if things were different- as though He had really mussed it up this time? “When we wish things were different, are we wishing that the reality in our lives was otherwise than God has ordained it?”
Christian! Why do we chase things as though Christ is not enough? How much of our lives are we willing to give over to longing for that which God has not granted? What He has given is far better. We long for certainty; He says instead to trust Him. What can we ever want beside Christ alone? These things seem of the utmost importance until we look upon Him. O! look upon Jesus! In Him, every Yes we will ever need is supplied. He works abundantly beyond what our minds can comprehend and do we think that we need more? Don’t we see the stupidity? “Faith finds all it needs in God” (Thomas Boston). When have we ever needed more than He gives? And the heart that has seen Him must cry Never, not once. Also, don’t we see the great worthlessness of anything that is not our lot in Christ? Far from being our good, it is the very thing He rescued us from: the emptying seeking of happiness and fullness in places other than Himself; and the devaluing of His worth by living for that insatiable lust for self-glory and self-happiness apart from God. “Seek for clear vision to see what is gain… remember what loss,” I reminded myself in my journal. Prayer is gain- be often in prayer. Discontentment is loss- flee discontentment. Christ is gain- look to Christ. All else is loss.
What can we do but agree, for we have seen it- before we were Christ’s, we ate hourly at the table of worldly delicacies and what can the believer say of those things now? All dung, it was all worthless dung. When we ate from that table, the taste of the foods offered there were sweet for a only moment before our bellies began to ache with that great aching, that emptiness in the pit of our stomachs that testified all too clearly of how unsatisfactory and unwholesome those foods were. Don’t you remember when you were alone and your eyes were stinging from the neon lights of sin which never satisfied? Don’t we remember when the religious mask wouldn’t fill the emptiness in our hearts? Don’t we remember the great lack which made everything bitter?
What of the fullness? Let us contrast now: we eat now at that table of Christ, where even the breadcrumbs are ten thousand times sweeter than anything that former table offered. We stay long at this table, and are filled- as the Beloved has said, “I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of he land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” This is nothing like the greedy atmosphere at the old table of sin; for He brings us to this table and places His banner of love over us. Neither is this sweetness of that short-lived counterfeit nature: the blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. This food is both wholesome and toothsome- it is the very best. In Christ we have found all the emptinesses that sin never satisfied to be filled. What lack do we have that we should be discontent? “Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”
Let us never cease to look at Christ and remember what is ours in Him, for in Him alone is all that we need.