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Imagining a Year of Contentment

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:1-2

Photo by Deborah Hudson, Hudson Crafted

Imagine starting off 2021 with the notion that all you already are is everything you could ever want.

I wonder what it would feel like to live in a state of contentment rather than a state of craving. I like new shiny things and goals and working towards my best self as much as the next person. Yet when I begin imagining what 2021 might look like, my tendency is to consider what’s missing.

As the clean fresh calendar of 2021 stretches out before me, I find myself falling into old habits of not enough. An empty longing falls over me to be thinner, smarter, more traveled, more, more, more.

Instead of what’s missing, this year I’m considering with newfound eyes what is already there.

Instead of cramming my month with plans, activities, and to-dos based on where I see myself lacking, I’m considering abundance. The new year always tricks me into thinking this will finally be the year where I accomplish my dreams, find contentment, become more, happier, better. What if it’s already there?

As a child, my favorite scripture was the 23rd Psalm. In my sweet children’s Bible with warm, watercolor images of Jesus in lush fields, I would recite it aloud to myself. It became a soothing ritual to imagine Christ walking alongside me near living waters and watching over me as I slumbered.

I look at my life and I consider Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He has given me everything I could ever want or need in Him. He has clothed me, fed me, cared for me, inspired me.

He leads me beside still waters. Despite the crazy, chaotic, upsetting, and frantic world, Jesus is still leading me beside still waters.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. This year we have faced the shadow of death, yet Christ was with us. He still comforts us.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. My cup has overflowed with deeper connections everywhere with family, neighbors, friends, and my faith this year. I can’t wait to build on those good things in the year ahead.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. God remains unchanged despite all the turmoil, hardship, and loss. God is still faithful. He is still with us and He is still for us.

This year, I’m imagining contentment in Him. Instead of ambition, I choose abundance. Instead of insufficient, I choose overflow. Gazing over the simple pure words of Psalm 23, I can rest in the knowledge of the worth I already possess in Christ.

Goals are good. Plans are great. Still, they are not our worth. The abundance is here right now. The blessings of Christ’s good gifts are already in my hands to treasure. The gift of a new year is ours in abundant love for what we already have in Him.

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