Author: Loyd Jenkins
His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
It’s the beginning of April and spring break for the kids: Day 1. Now you’d think that all would be good and joyous in the world, but the weather isn’t cooperating as in previous years here in west Michigan. We just came off a weekend of scattered snow showers, that quickly melted away, giving our kids the promise of something hopeful during school break. Nope! Snowing today and cold pretty much all this week.
And as I sang a spirited limerick of April Showers Bring May Flowers, my three little ones whined and lamented that the showers are supposed to be rain showers and not snow showers. My eldest recounted last spring and the one before that with a bit of faulty memory. From all the swirling disappointment, I grabbed the opportunity to educate them on the subject of comparison destroying contentment.
I realize that the topic is more commonly used in comparing ourselves with others in some attempt to attain equality or what we might consider to be fair. But as I thought about it, and explained to my children, we often compare our present circumstances with other circumstances we’ve been in and then tend to pine for that more optimal outcome. Well, at least that’s how we conceive it ideally within our heads. What contentment we might have that the snow has gone and the temperatures aren’t as cold as those in February or March tends to get ruined when we think of springs where April was much more radiant and flowed more seamlessly into the sun-filled warmth of summer.
The same comparisons can also destroy our contentment in other areas in our lives, whether referring to relationships, our health and—of course—our finances and careers. It’s hard for us to be content right where we’re at, without looking at others around us or in our past situations. Yet life is full of seasons and God wants us to trust Him and be content in all things. No doubt, we exercise our faith in striving to be content in our thankfulness…. both in word and deed. It’s hard to whine or complain when you make yourself busy being thankful: saying it and showing it.
When I look at some of the things International Aid has done in the past and what we’re doing now, I feel a fullness of joy—sincerely—and overwhelming contentment. The joy is because we’re responding to God’s call and direction with the blessings and grace that He gives us at every level. We maximize everything we possibly can. And what’s neat is that it reminds me of the king and the servants with the talents. Interestingly, there wasn’t any distinction in the response from the king with the first servant, who was given the most money, and the second who was given about half of what the first one received. It was only the last servant, who caved into his fear and buried what was given to him, that received admonition. The lesson, no doubt, is to always be bold in our faith in Christ Jesus and not get into the trappings of making comparisons with those around us or from previous situations, but to be content in everything and work each day as if it was for God Himself because therein lies our true joy and peace regardless of how much He gives us.