Psalm 40:1-2 AMP “He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings. And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”
What are you expecting? That is a catch-22 question. Our response, to what life brings, greatly depends on what we are expecting. When our longings or expectations are not met with what we desire, we often respond with either being somewhat disappointed to feeling deep discontentment.
Disappointment is defined as “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.”
It is hard to struggle with disappontment. Recently, I was writing in my journal, and I made a list of the disappointments I felt. The list was about things that had not turned out as I had hoped. None of these were new to me, I had being mulling each of them over in my mind for a few months. It was when I wrote them down that I dug deeper and found even more. They were hidden away, but had been piling up inside for the past few years. There were so many things to be feeling disappointed in.
I realized how, little by little, they had started to weigh me down until I felt like I was carrying around a boulder. The burden of them was pushing me down deeper and deeper into the muck and mire of disappointment until I landed in the pit of discontentment.
It had been becoming more and more obvious to me that my joy was disappearing, my hope was lacking, and my heart was becoming more and more ungrateful. I had been praying to the Lord to fill me with joy, to increase my hope, and to help me have more gratitude. But, nothing changed. God seemed silent. I felt frustrated, didn’t He want to help?
More time passed by, and I knew my relationship with the Lord was suffering. I wanted a quick fix, but the Lord wanted repentance. I was looking for Him to do it my way, but He wanted to do deeper work in my heart. The Lord showed me my sin of having a heart filled with discontentment. Living with a discontented heart is serious sin. It is, in reality, doubting the Lord’s goodness, doubting His wisdom, and questioning His faithfulness.
The Lord knows what I need to accomplish His purposes in my life, yet my eyes are on my own desires. I miss seeing His blessings when I am so focused on my wants. I forget that He is my Perfect Father and the Giver of all good gifts.
The Lord wants us to see His blessings and to respond with a grateful heart. He wants us to be content and satisfied with His gifts. Ironically, I have a problem when I listen to people with an “entitlement attitude”, but sadly, that is the attitude I was having before my Heavenly Father.
He showed me I need to keep my eyes on Him. I need to put more effort into recognizing the blessings He gives me and less emphasis on what I am lacking or thinking I need in order to be happy. I need to give thanks for all He has blessed me with.
Discontentment is a “horrible pit”, it is a place of “tumult and destruction”. I was feeling agitated and in turmoil within as I focused on my disappointments. Those feelings were tearing apatt my relationship with the Lord. I was questioning God’s goodness and love for me as I weighed whether He answered my prayers the way I thought was best. My expectations were wrong and they were that “miry clay”, I kept slipping and sliding down the slope of disappointment, becoming more and more stuck in those feelings in the deep pit that was only getting deeper.
The only way out was with His help. I needed to recognize my sin and repent. I needed to be reminded that achieving satisfaction in the things of this world is a lie from Satan. The Lord had to remind me of what is Truth. He helped me to understand what I can expect.
I can expect the Lord to be Who He says He is because He does not change.
I can expect Him to give me His best, even when that is not what I most want, because He is all-wise.
I can expect everything He gives to be given in love and to fulfill His perfect purpose and will for my life.
I can expect Him to answer prayers that are in His will for me.
My expectations that led to discontentment were not remembering Who He is, my eyes were blinded by my selfish single-mindedness of wanting what I wanted to make me happy. It is not that any of the things I wanted were bad things, but they were things that I had allowed to become too important to me. They were things that were leading me to take my eyes off of the Lord and His love for me more and more.
The lessons I learned through this makes me say with David, “…He set my feet upon a rock , steadying my footsteps, and establishing my path…” The rock is His truth, my feet are steadied in knowing the truth of my sin and repenting of that sin. He has established my path as He teaches me ways to learn contentment. This is an ongoing lesson. I constantly need reminders to keep my eyes on Him.
He has put a song of gratefulness in my heart, praising Him for Who He is, for His gracious ways of convicting my heart, and His perfect wisdom for me and my life.
What are you expecting?
Are you living in the muck and mire of disappointment?
Do you find yourself sinking into a deep pit of discontentment? It happens so subtly, we are hardly aware of how we are distracted and pulled into sin. Satan has a way of leading us to put our attention on what we don’t have.
If you find yourself in that pit, look up and ask the Lord to lift you up onto the rock of His truth. Repent, He will graciously answer your prayer. Your heart will sing a new song!
The Lord is the only one Who can fill us with true satisfaction, everything in this world is a counterfeit.