1 Timothy 6:6
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
This past week I made the brave decision to take all three of my little guys, ages 7, 6, and 2 with me to do some back-to-school shopping. They were excellent little troopers so at the end of our excursion, in a moment of weakness, I let each one of them have a quarter to buy a bouncy ball from a toy dispenser, much like a gum-ball machine.
My oldest put his quarter in and out came a cool looking blue and yellow ball – he was thrilled. My middle son put his quarter in and out came a turquoise ball with colorful squares – he was ecstatic…until his little brother got his ball. When my two-year-old put his quarter in, out came a hot pink bouncy ball. Apparently hot pink is all the rage these days, so my middle son was outraged when he compared his little brother’s ball to his own.
Loading up in the van to head home, my middle son tried every angle he could think of to trade balls with his brother. Being two and oh so savvy, realizing the value of his hot pink ball, my two-year-old, with a twinkle in his eye, happily refused every offer. Exasperated, my middle son eventually yelled out in frustration, “Why does everyone get what they want except me?!”
While his words sounded childish and ungrateful, I realized how I have felt the same way…and not only when I was 6…but in my adult life as well.
We look around and see people with relationships, families, career opportunities, standards of living, etc. that we would like to have and while we would never say it aloud, the child inside of us yells “Why does everyone get what they want except me?!”
In Genesis we read about the struggle Sarah, Abraham’s wife faced. Sarah, originally named Sarai, was one of several women in the Bible who were unable to have children. This situation was no doubt heartbreaking for Sarah as not only was having children viewed as the primary role of women in the ancient world, but God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of countless descendants. We can almost see Sarah looking at all the mothers around her thinking, “Why does everyone get what they want except me?”
After waiting many years, Sarah’s discontentment got the better of her and she decided to help God out. She convinced Abraham to sleep with her servant, Hagar. The child born of that encounter was named Ishmael – the man now considered by Islamic tradition to be the ancestor of Arab people.
But here is the thing. While Sarah was devastated thinking God had forgotten His promise, He had not. In God’s time, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac, the promised child. Isaac would father Jacob and Esau. Jacob would father 12 sons who would become heads of the 12 tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah would come David, and finally Jesus himself, God’s promised Savior.
While Sarah’s legacy is one of a faithful follower, let us learn something from her choice in this situation. When we are tempted to become discontent and get ahead of God, let’s remember God’s timing and plans are always best.
1 Timothy 6:6 says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
God loves you and He knows just what you need. It is not that He is withholding good from you. God knows and sees it all. Trust Him. His timing and plans are always best.
In what way are you tempted to feel discontent today and ask, “Why does everyone get what they want except me?!” Give it to God and trust that in His perfect time He will give you what is best.