In the Glow of Contentment
Don’t you just love a good fire? During winter, setting up the backyard firepit, igniting a roaring fire, and enjoying the warmth of the burning wood, being mesmerised by the allurement of the flames dancing and darting, listening to the crackling, and popping of the wood and did I mention the delight of melting marshmallows, so they are gooey in the centre and charred on the outer? It’s all part of enjoying a good fire. Yet the one thing about a fire is its glow. The glow of a good fire lights the faces of those encamped and there is a noticeable sense of peace and contentment.
As we sit around the campfire of God and contemplate His beauty and brilliance, we can only conclude He is a good and perfect God who will always be faithful and act in our best interest. In the glow of who He is we find contentment. No matter what unfolds in life, the perfect character of God enfolds us in His arms and brings a silent, sustained spirit of hope that rings loudly when we need it most and allows us to remain content.
God’s perfect character is the conduit for Christians to find contentment. The process of transformation happens when we gain greater revelation about who God is. As we continuously fan the flames of truth about God, and our confidence in Him ignites and inflames our trust, contentment comes in the glow of this burning reality.
Ever since the fall of humanity, the glow of God’s redemption has been upon His people. His purpose is to lead us back to the original place of contentment in Him, reflective of His first covenant. God once again enters a covenant with humanity to enable them to be re-orientated to Him and to be restored through salvation. Christian contentment becomes possible in the glow of God’s faithful covenant commitment.
In the Old Testament, God miraculously rescued the Israelites. He established His unbreakable covenant with them and accompanied His people as their sovereign deliverer and protector. By night, you will recall the visibility of God was the pillar of fire. Exodus 13:21. The glow of God’s presence allowed the Israelites to be secure. God was expressing to them that He would be to them all they needed Him to be as they stepped into their call to be His holy people. They could be content no matter what battles were going to rage against them. The glow of God’s holy fire or His holiness would then become the glow of God’s light through the Israelites to the Nations as they lived counter-culturally. They would demonstrate God’s plan for all humans to live in contentment as God always intended, as they lived in covenant obedience to Him.
In the New Testament, Jesus was the one to perfectly fulfil God’s covenant. In the miracle of the incarnation, Jesus, came to make it possible to ingraft into humans the contentment that comes from being in relationship with Him and knowing Him. John 15 is a beautiful summary of the intimate, intentional love of Jesus to draw us back into the life we were designed for. The knowledge of God is not just observed from a distance, it is personal as we relate intimately with Jesus. As we “possess” God through Jesus, we find the centre of contentment.
As the world swirls around us, and the busyness of life consumes our time, the glow of contentment can be dimmed by these things that distract us. Entering into contentment must be intentional. We have to gather the wood (open and read God’s Word), strike the match (ask the Holy Spirit to ignite our spirits with truth) and sit by God’s campfire (spend time with Him) until the glow of His truth leads us to contentment.
Friends, as you sit by the fireside of God, huddle in close to your perfect Father and allow the glow of who He is fuse into your spirit and as you bask in His love and faithfulness, He will change your countenance and spark contentment.
 Robert Louis Wilken, Origen in The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God, (Virginia, USA: R. R. Donnelley & Sons, 2003), 292-293. Note: Origen, was an early church father of 3rd century.