“I’m never content, Mom.”
These words slipped from my son’s mouth some months back. Probably after I’d gone to great lengths to get him something he wanted, or to do something he desired.
And then I’d probably made the mistake of asking how he liked it.
I don’t ask that question anymore.
First, I found it revelatory that this boy of mine knew he would never be satisfied. Second, a piece of my heart cracked because all that I had done to bless him—to make him happy—hadn’t been enough.
I felt guilty that somehow, I’d failed my son. Then, I felt hurt because he didn’t appreciate all I’d done for him. Not that I laid these emotions bare before him. But, in my heart, I questioned why I hadn’t been enough for my son. Why my efforts fell short in his eyes.
I wondered if perhaps, nothing satisfies him because he is still working through the adoption aspects of his personality. Surely parents whose kids are biological don’t have these discontentment issues . . . Right?
As I’ve meditated on this great conundrum, I’ve realized we all struggle with discontentment. We all hold onto silent expectations, hoping somehow that yawning void inside us will finally be filled.
Now that my guys are teenagers, they’re looking to friends to fill them. Yet, they still want time with Hubs and me . . . thank goodness! But, they feel that hole. Some days, it gnaws at them, coloring how they see their friends, interactions, and events that happened in that day.
My heart grieves for them as they yearn for something to fill them, to make them content. And when I’m in that place? I become frustrated with myself. I should know better.
But still . . .
Sooner or later, every person I expect to bring me contentment, will disappoint me.
Let’s face it. We all have our issues. We all walk through seasons of being overwhelmed by life. And we can’t keep up with our own “stuff,” much less help someone else deal with their “stuff.”
We sometimes set our hearts on things we think will fill us. When we buy the perfect new car, or move into the dream house we’ve envisioned for years, surely then we’ll be content. We’ll be surrounded by all that we’ve wanted.
But still . . .
Things can only fill us for a short time. They tarnish, chip, break, fade. They lose their appeal when they become commonplace in our thoughts.
And circumstances . . . when we’re striving to get into the perfect job, or when we lose a certain number of pounds, then we’ll be content, right?
We are so HUMAN. It’s easier to search for contentment in these things. None of these require relationship, though some do require work and discipline.
There’s only One who can truly fill us. To find true contentment, we need to give up our agendas, our expectations. Contentment comes through relationship with God.
Contentment comes through humility. When we yield to a heavenly Father who loves us,
and we lay aside our ideas of what will bring satisfaction . . . and seek Him first and only?
This is the first step toward contentment.
When our eyes are fixed on God—when we spend time with Him in his word—God transforms our thoughts and understandings. He gives us a different perspective about the world, people, stuff, and circumstances.
Contentment begins when we lay ourselves down before a loving Father and trust Him to fill us.
As for my boys? They still struggle with being filled. But, I’ve come to the understanding that I’m not called to be God in their lives. It’s not my role to obtain their satisfaction for them. I can do things that speak love to them, but how each one responds is between them and God.
So, I pray for them. And as the opportunities reveal themselves, I point them back to the One who knows them best and knows best how to help them find contentment.
What about you? When have you struggled with contentment? How do you find contentment?