Throwback - A Prayer of Contentment

Originally posted on May 11, 2012 in Ramble (which is now mrsblogbacktome)

I know you're thinking, "What?!?!? Two posts in one day? I don't have time for this kind of rambling, Jessica." But I promise that you will not be disappointed. If you never read anything else that I write, please read this post (mostly because it's mostly written by someone else).

I'm reading the book a book called Calm my Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow*. The book was actually recommended to me by a blog reader and friend after I posted the confessions post a few weeks ago. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book thus far (I'm only on chapter three...but I'm a slow reader).

This excerpt of the book is coming from Psalm 139. Take few minutes to read it (by clicking the link) and then read this quote from the book. You will not regret it!

According to Psalm 139, God not only created your personality, He also gave you your body. Verse 15 reads, “My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth” (NASB).

In Hebrew, the word translated wrought means “embroidered.” It was the same Hebrew word used to refer to the skillful and artistic needlework in the curtains of the Old Testament tabernacle. When God fashioned you in your mother’s womb (described in the psalm as “the depths of the earth”), He embroidered with great skill. Although no one else could see you, God saw every detail of the formation of your body. As a weaver intricately embroiders colors together to create a beautiful pattern, God knit together your veins, muscles, nerves, and every curve and indentation that is uniquely yours. What tapestry can begin to equal the human fabric?

Perhaps you think other female tapestry is beautiful, but not yours. “I don’t like my nose, my hips, my breasts. In fact I really don’t like much about me.” All of us could list things we’d like changed about ourselves. But if we are displeased with our physical form, we’re really arguing with He is responsible for the color of our hair and the size of our nose and whether we have cellulite.

I’m not surprised that so many women struggle over their personal appearance. The values of our American culture are warped. We’re constantly bombarded with pressure created by the media to have a “perfect” body. This emphasis is wrong and unbiblical. As Christian women, we know this perspective is twisted, yet how easy it is to get caught up in the deadly disease of comparison.

My husband, Jody, believes that women look at other women more than men look at women. This may sound strange, but I think he’s right. We women analyze, scrutinize, and compare to see how we stack up to the supermodel in her skimpy bathing suit. I never come out looking very good. When we compare ourselves with others, we’re told we are without understanding. The Living Bible says we are “stupid” (2 Corinthians 10: 12).

Several years ago I read an article by the Reverend James Hufstetler** that put the comparison game in perspective.

You will never really enjoy other people, you will never have stable emotions, you will never lead a life of godly contentment, you will never conquer jealousy and love others as you should until you thank God for making you the way He did.

God wants each of us to praise Him for His workmanship in creating us.

George MacDonald***, the man C. S. Lewis called his mentor, wrote,

I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.

This is a prayer of contentment.

*Dillow, Linda (2012-01-05). Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment with Bonus Content . Navpress. Kindle Edition. 

**James Hufstetler, “On Knowing Oneself,” The Banner of Truth 280 (January 1987), p. 13.

***by J. R. Miller in a printed message, “Finding One’s Mission” (Swengel, PA: Peiner Publications, n.d.), p. 2.
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Posted on July 25, 2013 and filed under "live well spiritually", "throwback".