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She was lonely. She most likely had a real problem with self-image and commitment. She’d learned something about men and relationships through the years: they don’t last. Men used women and tossed them away like an old sock.

That’s why she found herself at the well at midday. Her plan worked most days. There was no one at the well. But not today. Today, of all things, a man was there. This time was different. This man was different. He didn’t judge her event though he knew her deepest secrets. He didn’t get caught up in the arguments that she’d learned to use to alienate others. Instead he offered her life!

The world seeks for satisfaction in the physical. When Jesus fed 5,000 men that day on the mountain, the Bible says they were filled….satisfied…content…perhaps uneasily comfortable like I am after Thanksgiving dinner.

But once the food wore off they sought Jesus for more. Not more of Jesus, not more of the spiritual food he offered, but of physical comfort. Many were disappointed when he explained to them that the food he offered was food from heaven and not earth. They were more interested in the temporal filling rather than the eternal fulfillment Jesus had to offer.

You can find temporary comfort in many things. Relationships. Money. Status. Friendships. Entertainment. The list goes on. But nothing satisfies like Jesus.

Then Jesus said, “I am the bread that gives life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35 (NCV)

Contentment defined: The quality or state of being contented. (I love when they do that! Tell you a definition by telling you a different word you don’t know.)

Contented defined:  Feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.

Do a search of images that define contentment. You’ll find cute pictures of animals sleeping in odd positions, people smiling while walking with loved ones, or various pictures of people, clouds, the sun and water. Even the word conjures up peaceful surroundings, happiness and joy.

Contentment means that even though there may be things I’d change, few of those changes would be major. The things I see around me are good. My life is good. I’m content.

The picture of contentment that comes to my mind is far from the ones I found on the search engine. The picture of contentment I see is one of a bird snuggled down into her nest. A violent storm is tossing the branches of her tree back and forth. Lightning is flashing, thunder is crashing and the world around her is taking a thrashing. Still, there she sits, riding out the storm, satisfied with where she is at that given moment.

That’s the kind of contentment that Jesus talks about. The feelings of hunger affect every aspect of your being. You look at people differently; situations you encounter seem larger and harder to conquer. Hunger makes you weak and ineffective. Add thirst to hunger and the problems magnify. A person can live a few weeks without food and water, but their health is affected in just a matter of days.

Spiritually hunger has the same effect. There is, within each of us a desire for contentment. A longing to be satisfied with where we are and who we are and what we have. The only way you will find true contentment in life is to look beyond the external pleasures of life. True contentment begins in the heart. When you are satisfied on the inside nothing on the outside can take away the contentment you seek.

A crowd gathered around Jesus one day. They’d just witnessed an amazing miracle. Jesus had just made over 5,000 men content with a few loaves of bread and a couple small fish. Jesus said, “You’re still here with me because I gave you contentment with the externals of life. But I have so much more to give you. I can give you comfort in the wilderness, encouragement in the midst of the storm, courage in the face of danger.”

You won’t find contentment in relationships, or money, or status. Contentment isn’t measured by the size of your bank account, the number of friends you have on your social networking site, or the victories in your win column. Contentment can only come as you grow in relationship with the one who makes us content in the midst of the storm.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, right now I’m going through a storm in life. Some of it’s due to my own poor choices. Some is at the hands of evil people. No matter what I’m going through, I ask that you would help me be content because of your presence, love and protection. Amen.

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June 2023
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