It was one of those mornings. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. I was getting my girls dressed and ready for the day, and things didn't go as planned. I won't share too many details, but I will say I just about lost my patience when I noticed my toddler got into my chapstick. And when I say she “got into” my chapstick, I mean to say she rubbed it all in her hair. It looked pretty. Well, at least she thought so.
We were running behind, and I had to drop my oldest daughter off at school. I simply hate being rushed. My girls always seem to sense when I'm in a frenzy, so I tried to keep calm. “Hey, let's run to the car!” I announced in my pretend, fun voice. They bought into my game, and away we went. The school is only a short distance away, but we lost time sitting through construction.
Once we arrived at school, I rushed to get my girls out of the car. This is when I heard a friendly voice nearby. It was another mom, whom I assumed had just dropped her kids off at school. Smiling at me, she said, “Oh, how I wish my kids were that young again.” I would've loved to see my face in that moment. I probably didn't receive her comment as she might have hoped. Instead, I looked at her, with a somewhat confused face and said, “Really?” (I'm not always good with my words, in case you couldn't tell.) She responded, “Yes, my kids are all fourteen, sixteen, and eighteen. I remember when they were that age.” Smiling back at her, I said, “Yes, but it's so hard sometimes. But, thank you. I needed to hear that.”
Sometimes we all need someone to give us a fresh perspective on life. Someone who will make us aware of obvious blessings which, in the moment, we may fail to see ourselves. I'll admit there are days when I think life would be easier if my girls were a few years older. (I'm sure those of you with older children are laughing right about now.) Maybe, just maybe I wouldn't feel as frazzled. At least, this is what I think.
The problem is, discontentment breeds an ungrateful heart.
Discontentment also causes us to loose sight of what God has for us today. Instead of wanting certain aspects of our lives to be different, we should choose to be content in whatever circumstance God allows in our life. We should consider: What is God doing in my life right now? What are the blessings he is lavishing on me today?
This week we will be heading into the Old Testament, where we will read stories about God's deliverance of the Israelites and his provision. If you are like me, I'm sure you've read the stories and thought, “Wow, the Israelites really don't get it.” But, you know what? We are not very different from them. We also loose sight of what God is doing in the present because we choose to focus on how things could be different.
Click here to download the reading guide for this week. Let's begin by reading Monday's verse.
“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” Exodus 13:21-22
As you read these verses, consider the answer to the following questions:
How was God's presence made known?
What did God provide for the Israelites?
What can you learn from these verses?
Photo: David Mao