The Drive Home: Finding Contentment on the Journey

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  The Drive Home

The questions come to me as I’m driving, running errands, frustrated with everything in my life that isn't right... isn't good enough.

What would it actually take?

When would it be enough?

When would I finally be content?

When the to-do list is done? When the kids mature? When I can afford whatever I want? When my house is clean? When I’m a raving success?

The carrot dangles in front of me as I speed — I never can never quite reach it — perfect beauty, perfect skill, perfect organization, the perfect family… perfection.

Actually, “perfect” puts a wry smile on my face. I’m not even close.

No, I tell myself. I don’t need perfection, I just need a little better.  A little more. That would be enough.

But would it?

And when I slam my brakes for the red light, I see the issue for what it is.

A discontented heart. And it’s ugly.

This isn’t the fruit of the Spirit.

It’s a slap in God’s face.

It’s me telling Him His blessings aren’t good enough, His grace isn’t sufficient, He isn’t enough. He hasn’t given enough. I need more.

And forming such hideous thoughts are like fingernails on a chalkboard.

God, forgive me.

I hold the steering wheel, realizing my flesh can never be satisfied.

Were it not for Christ, I’d be one of the millions enslaved to it — my rotting demanding flesh — trying to escape the deadly downward spiral. Grasping for pleasure, attention, status and possessions. Convinced I could claw my way out of the black hole with more, with better. Striving, panting… yet ending with nothing.

The light turns green and I move on, blinking back tears, remembering that true life is in Christ, that I am found in Christ.

And I remember I am blessed.

Oh how much He’s given me.

He “forgives all [my] sins and heals all [my] diseases…” He “redeems [my] life from the pit and crowns [me] with love and compassion.”  Psalm 103:3-4

My family, my home, my story, my very breath declare His goodness. I dare not forget all that He’s done for me, all that He’s given me, how He gave everything for me!

And even as the question forms in my mind — So how do I handle my constant yearnings for more? For better? — I remember something else…

Every craving reveals my need for him.

I’m hungry for more, for better, because I need more of Him.

He is love. He is peace. He is joy.

He alone is the perfect Father, Friend, and Comforter.

My appetite will never be fully satiated with anything or anyone else.

I turn on my blinker and switch lanes. My heart recognizes this as truth, but there’s a little pang as it turns all that longing toward Jesus.

But I can’t even see you, and I’m still stuck here.

What I remember as I turn the corner is bittersweet.

Complete contentment will only come once I’m face-to-face with Christ.

This side of heaven, I’ll always have a to-do list, a longing, an internal battle with discontent.

But that’s just this side of heaven. My heart’s deepest desires will all be met on the other side.

Who needs junk food when a marriage feast is so close?

No, this drive won't last forever. Home and all its comforts are just around the bend.

As I pull again into the driveway of my temporary home, I ask for eyes to see my blessings, for more of Jesus, and an eternal perspective.

I ask for help to remember. I ask for contentment.

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits.

Psalm 103:1

*Are you content, friend? Where do you struggle most? How does remembering bring contentment in your life?

Blessings,

Jennifer Ebenhack

 

Jennifer Ebenhack

Jennifer’s eight eventful years in Haiti produced a gift of brokenness through which she has discovered the depths of God’s healing grace. She passes that grace on to others through her blog, life coaching, and her ebook Take Courage: Choosing faith on my journey of fear. She is currently writing a memoir of her family’s nine-year adoption process and gripping experiences in Haiti.