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Hebrews 13:5

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Hebrews 13:5, ‘Be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’

Why are the recipients of this letter to be content with what they have? Because God in Christ has promised always to be with them, never to forsake them. The groaning of discontentment is a groaning to fill a perceived lack with something other than God’s gift of Himself in Christ by the Spirit. For this reason—if left to fester—it is a rejection of YHWH Himself as our all-satisfying good.

Now, if we are to be content in everything because of God’s presence with us in Christ by the Spirit, then it must be the case that He stands ready to fill up every potential *dis*contentment with Himself. Am I discontented with health, or finances, or physical goods, or home, or spouse or what-have-you? The author of Hebrews says to be content in these situations because the Lord is with me…What can this logic mean except that the Lord’s presence is ready and able to fill up the experiential cavity of my every discontentment with Himself? What can it mean but that every twinge of discontentment points to a fissure in my soul that God in Christ is ready to fill with His presence?

Thus, experienced discontentment ought to become an impetus to and clarifier of our prayers…The experienced void of discontentment calls me to seek the Lord in *this particular* way, as the one who promises to be sufficient for *this particular* longing…NOT necessarily by giving me the thing I want (which turns Him into a vending machine and teaches me to be content in gifts rather than Giver), but by giving us Himself as the particular and unanticipated satisfaction for *this* perceived lack, *this* aching void, *this* hollow place in our lives…

Our discontentments are invitations to know God in Christ by His Spirit more deeply, more fully, more experientially, more practically and pervasively. May we acknowledge them, refuse to be enslaved by them, and rather, turn them by grace into sign posts that lead us to those hidden cavities of the soul whose negative space foreshadows the shape of the fullness the God Himself stands ready to be for us in the slain and risen Son.