I have realized that I struggle with an attitude of discontentedness. I have for quite a while now. I wanted things to be a certain way. I expected them to be a certain way. When it didn’t happen my way, I became bitter, angry, and discontented.
Things are SO much better with Ruby Sue now. She is gaining weight. She is healthy and thriving. A few days ago she got up on all fours for the first time and started bouncing back and forth. Today, she sat up by herself for the first time. She scoots across the floor to get where she wants to go. Ruby is a happy baby. She smiles at anyone she can. Laughs frequently. Plays well with toys. Pulls her big sister’s hair. They are already fighting over toys (and my iPhone. Yikes!).
But it isn’t enough for me. This isn’t the way I wanted it. I WANT TO NURSE THE CHILD. Nevermind that she’s predominately on breastmilk and supplementing with homemade formula so as to avoid the various problems caused by store bought formula. It simply isn’t enough for me. Or at least it wasn’t.
Then I think about my dear friend, who’s sister-in-law has a 3-year-old girl with stomach cancer. The doctor’s have basically issued a death sentence for this poor little darling. She has come through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Recently the radiation wasn’t done properly and gave the poor baby second degree burns on the inside of her body. Awful. Just awful.
But here I am belly-aching about not being able to nurse. God spoke a word to me that I will be able to nurse her eventually. I trust him that it will come to pass. But while I’m waiting, I need to heed Paul’s example. After having been shipwrecked twice, beaten numerous times, imprisoned, deserted by friends… he wrote, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
What I believe Paul was saying is that in any given situation we find ourselves, we are to be thankful but also work hard for something greater. Just because we are work hard for something greater doesn’t mean we are ungrateful or discontent with what we have. Moreover our discontentedness should not be the driving force of working hard for something greater. Instead, the principles of thankfulness and hard work should generally guide our lives.
With that understanding, I will continue to try creative ways to get Ruby back to breast. But as soon as she or I become frustrated, then we’ll stop and take a break. By doing so I will fulfill my obligation to keep working towards greater things. But in the meantime, I choose to be thankful for the growth and progress she is making. I choose to be content.