I live in a small house. A very small house. With 5 people. It wasn’t so bad when the kids were little, but now that they are teens, it seems smaller and smaller. When we have company over, we have to eat in shifts. I was discontent with my kitchen for sure….but my sweet husband got a different perspective…and it changed everything.
Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the land: “See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. See what kind of land they live in.”…(After they returned)….. But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” (excerpt from Numbers 13)
I live in a small house. A very small house. With 5 people. It wasn’t so bad when the kids were little, but now that they are teens, it seems smaller and smaller. When we have company over, we have to eat in shifts. And my prayer is always, “Ugh! Lord, I need a bigger kitchen!” Then my sweet husband went on a mission trip to Russia and Ukraine. He called in tears one day and said, “We are blessed. Our home is a castle. It’s huge. I will never complain about it again.” It is all in how we choose to see it….
Moses sent 12 spies into the land to search it out. He wanted a report. An honest report. And they brought it. They all brought reports of giants and walled cities. But ten of them brought a report of fear and doubt. Two of them brought a report of faith and confidence. They all saw the same thing. They all saw the giants, but there were two totally different reports here. What was the difference?
They were looking at it from two different angles. The ten spies were looking at themselves in relation to the giants, and they were coming up short in their own eyes. The two spies were looking at the giants in relation to their God, and God was WAY bigger. One perspective brought fear and the other brought faith. It all comes down to choosing how you see something.
I was seeing my house in relation to what it didn’t have…..space. Mikel was looking at our house in relation to what it did have….space. We saw the same house. We saw the same amount of space. But we had two different perspectives. His brought peace and satisfaction. Mine brought discontentment and frustration. I chose to see it through his eyes, and I went from a frustrated, “Ugh…I need a bigger kitchen,” to “Thank You that I have a kitchen, Lord. How can I use it to bless someone.” I didn’t need to change kitchens to be content….I needed to change perspectives.
I love this little sign in my mother-in-law’s house:
Life is about choices. There are things we can’t choose…..things we don’t have control over. (Can I get a big AMEN on that one?) We can’t choose the storms that come and go. We can’t control the people around us – no matter how much we try. I’m not moving any time soon, so the size of my kitchen is not going to change. There is so much out of our control. But one thing we can control is our attitude. We can choose how we look at things.
Contentment is a choice. If you are finding yourself discontent with things in your life, like I was with my kitchen, maybe it is time for a new perspective. There’s always more than one way to look at things. God can give us an amazing perspective if we ask Him, and it can change frustrations and discontentment in our lives to peace and joy and a satisfaction. It’s a choice. What do you need to look at differently?
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7)