Bloom Where You Are Planted

The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.

 

I have probably told this story before, but when I headed off to college in 1995, I had two simplistic goals: (1) get training for formal church ministry and (2) get married. I went through college dating, dating and dating some more. But when I graduated in May 1999, I was without a girlfriend. And I was headed to seminary.

I was panicking. I was leaving an institution where the ratio of girls to guys was 3/1 to a seminary where the ratio of girls to guys 0/1. The Master’s Seminary is an all-male school. I was not feeling very encouraged. In fact, I was pretty frustrated with God.

I had believed quite strongly that both God and I were on the same page with this whole marriage thing. I believed had given me the urge to be married and yet, I was now decreasing my chances to be around girls on a regular basis. I went from a period of frustration to anger with God.

My 1st semester in seminary was a spiritual struggle since I was not happy with the “lot” God has given me. But my struggle went deeper than just not dating or being engaged or even seeing viable options for dating or marriage. There was a heart issue I identified with in I Corinthians 7:17 – “Only let (he is looking back to vs. 1-16 on marriage issues) each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.” In his book Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, Paul Tripp writes,

“What controls our hearts will exercise inescapable influence over our lives and behavior. … The heart of every person is a fount of competing desires. We rarely do anything with one simple motive. Most of the time there is a battle within. … Every day creation battles with the Creator for the control of our hearts. The stakes are high, because whatever rules our hearts will control our behavior.”[1]

So what was controlling the behavior of the Corinthians and myself? What was ruling our hearts? I want to suggest to you that their heart issue was/is that the Corinthians and I lacked contentment.

Many Corinthians were looking at their social predicament(s) and concluding, “But I don’t want to be single. I don’t want to be married to him or her.” Or maybe, “I don’t want Apollos as our leader? I wish Peter was our pastor.” Or maybe, “I wish I had the gift of mercy; I just got administration.”

This was an internal issue of contentment. Contentment is a mindset of satisfaction or a restful and peaceful stability, no matter the circumstance.

That is why Paul said, “Lead the life that the Lord has assigned” to you. Paul says, “Continue to walk in a manner by which you were called” (Eph 4:1; Col 1:10). Whatever lot God has given us, be content. Wherever God puts us, live full out there. Someone has said, “We should bloom where we are planted.” Live as and where you are called. You are not where you are by accident. If you believe in a sovereign and providential God, you are where you need to be.

[1] Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, pgs. 79-80

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