You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”
I used to teach a kindergarten class at church. With children ages 4 and 5, there were often tears, whines, and sighs when they didn’t get what they wanted. They didn’t want that for snack. They wanted the toy someone else got, or they didn’t want the color crayon they were given. We would remind them, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.” We were doing our best to teach them to be content. Be thankful for what you receive.
But I Wanted…
As an adult, I have to go back and remind myself of this lesson. It is so easy to get discouraged and out of sorts when we don’t get what we wanted. When my sister-in-law married my brother at 18, and gave birth to their first child at 19, I was upset that God had given her what I wanted before He gave it to me. (Yes, I was that childish.) It was my dream to marry right out of high school and have 6-12 children. Why did God give her my dream and leave me wondering what He was doing in my life?
As I keep up with friends and family on social media, I often see pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, and all the other milestones that come with having children. The temptation is there to grieve because God has given them what He has denied me. I didn’t get what I wanted. They got what I wanted. When I think about it, it’s still quite childish if I give in to this temptation.
Not What I Wanted
When I was growing up, I wanted to marry a preacher and have a dozen children. I also wanted to be like my mother and grandmothers. They were strong, hard-working ladies. Most of all, I wanted to be godly. I wanted to be a praying lady like my mother and grandmother. As I began miscarrying babies, I lost sight of those last dreams. I focused on the other dream that was slipping through my fingers.
Therefore be Content
Scripture teaches us that we should be content. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Paul did not have all he wanted. He had been persecuted, imprisoned, beaten, and generally mistreated. Yet he had learned to be content.
The most straightforward command to be content is found in Hebrews 13:15. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” We are to be without covetousness and be content with what we have. Ouch! If I don’t have children, I am to be content. If I am thousands of miles away from family, I am to be content. When God chooses not to give me good health, I am to be content. This is not if I feel like it. It is not optional. It is a command.
So, today when I see my niece’s baby bump, when I see friends and family post pictures of their children and grandchildren, I am to be content. I still grieve, but I am also to be content.
What tempts you to be discontent? Will you let it win, or will you obey Christ’s command and gain the peace and joy He promises?