The Content Heart 
Crystal Miller
I find in this world we constantly deal with discontentment.  Often we don’t mean to be discontent, but we are.  I am guilty of this myself.  I complain when the weather is too wet, then too hot, then too dry.  I complain when there is an abundance of milk to deal with and complain when the goats dry up during the winter.  More often the problems of discontentment for most revolve around finances.  I have listened to women who are discontent with the older car they drive, the inability to have material things, the desire for new clothes that are not in the budget, a house that is too small and the list goes on. 
If we dwell on these things what begins to happen is that we realize that life is not as fulfilling as what we wanted, and we become discontent and even bitter.  At some point we may even feel the need to go to work, or find ways to make extra money so we can acquire what we don’t have.  Or maybe even push our husbands to do something about the situation.  All of these methods of dealing with this can have negative side effects, some more than others.  And in the end we may be saying to the Lord, “What you have provided for my life is just not enough for me”. 
If we did manage to buy that new car, the new clothes, move to a bigger house, and so on; would this solve the problem of a discontent heart? Is this the ultimate answer?  I don’t think so.  I have also learned over the years that we as human beings will always have needs and many wants.  We will never naturally be satisfied with what we have. We will be looking at our list to see what is the next needed item to make life complete. The Scriptures tell us, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” Philippians 4:11.
You see the heart is at the issue.  That is not to say that there are not real needs at hand, but as in all things the heart issues must come first.  An example from my own life is when we had 7 children and lived in an 1100 sq. ft. home.  We truly did need a bigger house, but how I dealt with that was a heart issue.  I had to constantly remind myself that in all situations the Lord knows all my needs. To pray for a bigger house is good, but to be discontent with the small one is not.   I remember asking myself, “If I was never able to move from this house would that be ok with me?”  I had to put my heart in a place that said, “Yes, I could live with that”. 
The ultimate solution will come from not only learning to be content with what the Lord has provided but also to find joy in our life!  Discontentment will never produce a joyful life.  In this materialistic society we live in we may find it hard to wrap our minds around the Scripture that says: And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 1 Timothy 6:8.   Imagine, that does not even mention a home! 
So how does one go from feeding a discontent heart to a heart that is not only content but joyful?  We begin by giving thanks to the Lord for ALL things.  When you wake up in the morning you begin your day by thanking the Lord for his blessings.  Are you familiar with the hymn that says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done!”?  That is the place to start.
The next step is to really focus on what is of value in life.  To me the greatest value I find is in relationships; my relationship with the Lord, my husband and my children.  When I start looking at what I can do right where I am at to improve my life and begin thanking the Lord for all His blessings daily, I find I start to value the relationships in my life more.  I want to work to make those a blessing to us all. 
I want to set aside that daily time with the Lord, I want to be a better helpmeet to my husband; I want to be a better mother to my children.  These things are all actions, discontentment is rarely an action.  When we act upon something such as dwelling upon the goodness of God and what He has provided and act on this to improve the relationships around us, our hearts change.
This month I would like to encourage us all to daily give thanks for the Lord’s wondrous provisions in our life and to serve and love the ones He has placed in our charge.  The change will be amazing, the heart the will change and discontentment will be turned into a contented joy that can only come from Jesus.

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