Often a repetitive melody resonates inside of me, and with that resounding song, God develops within a theme He wishes to teach me. The name of the current hum in my heart? Contentment. It seems that God continues infusing the songs in my heart with the need to choose an attitude of gratitude, rather than a desire for something more or something different.
We all struggle with this desire for different at some point in our lives. Whether confronted with the desire for a different job, a different house, (dare I say it) a different spouse or different children, we all sing the blues of “if only” at one time or another.
But gratitude and contentment, together, create a harmonious blend. When we look at the things we have and choose gratitude, the more content we become. The more we fill our lives and mouths with thankfulness rather than grumbles and complaints, the less we struggle with discontentment. The more we shout out our blessings, the more we rejoice over their benefits.
Over the next three weeks, I want us to spend some time together singing over our things – our families, our homes and our hobbies. I want us to compose a song of thanksgiving rather than a song of sorrow and suffering. I want us to craft a concert of prayer and praise for the blessings of life.
Now let me warn you, this doesn’t mean your circumstances will be any different. Your address won’t necessarily change, and your closet, well it probably won’t brim over with new clothes, shoes, and bags. What it does mean, however, is that as you develop an attitude of thanks for your blessings, you’ll uncover a newfound love for the people in your life, the place where you live, the job you fulfill, the wardrobe you own, and the purpose God has specifically composed for you.
For this week, let’s focus on singing over our things. I’m not talking about becoming materialistic here. By “things” I mean our homes, families, and yes, our stuff. By singing over our things, I mean I want us to rejoice and speak positively about them.
Scripture says that God exults over us with loud singing.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17
The word for exult in that verse is the Hebrew word, giyl, which means to spin around violently (under the influence of violent emotion), to rejoice, to be glad.
I can hardly fathom that God has that kind of emotion for you and me, but He possesses extraordinary emotion for us. Even when we don’t meet His expectations of obedience, even when we displease Him, anger or frustrate Him. He continually rejoices over us with gladness.
What about you and me? When others displease us, fail to meet our expectations, or completely frustrate us, what should we do? When my wardrobe choices, house, or car don’t meet my wants or expectations what do I do?
I should choose gratitude and make a joyful noise over these things. I should choose contentment and satisfaction. I should choose to sing out the wonderful things about my life rather than tune them out with shouts of “if onlys” and “I wants.”
This week I challenge you to make a list of your “things”– your people, your treasures (your stuff). After making this list, write at least one positive word beside each item. To take it a step further, I challenge you to sing over your things. Give a shout out of praise to your “things.” Rejoice over your treasured gifts with singing. Make a joyful noise for them by singing and dancing over them with gladness and exultation.
This, my friend, will cause you to spin for joy over your “things.” This small gesture will create a jubilant and joy-filled masterpiece that will help you celebrate some of your most treasured blessings.