Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Roses and Briars

Recently, the Lord gave me a beautiful picture of what true contentment looks like. My six year old sister, Melody, was rolling around in her bed one evening as my mom and I sat talking nearby. Melody was humming to herself when she suddenly bolted up on the bed.
“Mama, we have everything we need.” Her sweet, chime-like voice was earnest as she continued.
“We have my Ol' Betsy rifle, a house, animals, food. What more could we want?”
I'll never forget the twinkle of satisfaction that glimmered in her deep brown eyes. Their light revealed a contented heart tickled with the simple gifts of God.

A Way Of Briars

Melody's declaration revealed she had learned the source of contentment – satisfaction with what God has provided. We know discontentment often germinates from greed or envy, but my greatest seasons of discontentment have crept in from more sneaky sources. It comes when I think a different field of ministry would be better than the one God has provided. Or when a sin in a loved one's life discourages me until I allow it to cast its gloomy shadow over my life. Discontentment -- no matter how justified it seems -- leaves us with an aching soul. It teases with dreams of how much better life would be if things were different. Every frustration or challenge is magnified ten times because we're reminded we wouldn't have to deal with this if we had the life we imagine. Like cockleburs from a fallow field, discontentment clings to us until we're no longer joyful, thankful or at rest. It leaves us always wanting, but never satisfied.

A Path Of Roses

God, however, has a cure for the discontented child. It's called thankfulness. Just as everyone has thorns that prick and hurt, we also have roses that grace our lives. If we've trained our eyes to only notice the thorns it will take a cleansing of our heart to see the beauty beyond the briars. But God is more than ready to cleanse the discontented heart. I know because He has done it for me. And I know because His Word promises us so. He promised to keep our minds in perfect peace when stayed on Him instead of people. He promised paths of joy when we put our trust in Him instead of circumstances. It's not easy, but again, He promises His grace to be sufficient.

So yes, roses will have briars and we will have trials that tear and cling to us. But remember contentment is a deep satisfaction in what God has provided. And He has provided much! Contentment is found when we trust God enough to thank Him for His provision. A satisfied heart is a thankful heart and a thankful heart is a contented heart. When contentment has taken root in our soul, peace, joy and rest becomes the fragrance of our lives that no thorn or briar can mar. 

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 
 (1 Timothy 6:6)

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19)

Photos courtesy of Faithwalk Photography.


  1. Wow - this was an awesome, beautiful post, Kenzi! So true, and yes, we need to focus on the roses in our lives instead of the thorns. Contentment springs from a heart that is trusting Jesus. "O for grace to trust Him more!" Thank you for the post, sister - it blessed me. :)

  2. Amen!! Life is truly sweet when we trust in Jesus!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Patience!