You [God] squeeze me in from behind and before.


Every year, it’s the same thing. No matter how hard I try to keep the melons where they’ve been planted, one always attempts an escape!

Was the latest victim led astray by hopes of something better on the other side? Or is this an illustration to me from God’s creation—a reminder that I should be content and do good right where I’ve been planted?

I think I've always been restless. I studied foreign languages in school and couldn’t wait to leave home and travel the world. I see this constant desire for change in my everyday life as well. Unlike some people I know, I’m always trying new hair styles, face cream, clothes, food, etc. When my husband and I travel, I want to try a new place—even if we loved the previous one. I always think there might be something a little better elsewhere.

So, I’ve been thinking about this restlessness. It’s not necessarily all bad, but it does cause anxiety from time to time. Is my desire for something else caused by a lack of contentment?  I can easily get into the “what-if” thinking (especially during sleepless nights). What if I had been a better parent, a better wife, a better friend? What if I had said this rather than that? What if we lived somewhere else? What if we went to a different church? What if I had chosen a different career?

These questions are not really regrets, and they don’t occupy my thoughts often, but sometimes I catch myself worrying and wondering if I could have been a better mother or done something more important with my life. In those moments I can be blind to the beautiful, wonderful life I have right in front of me! Why is that? And why is it so hard to be truly grateful for all of my blessings? 

Searching for answers, I decided to open up my Bible and read some devotionals. (Funny what a little cantaloupe can do!)

Paul wrote a tender letter to the Christians in Philippi thanking them for their concern for him and their generosity. However, he made a point to let them know that he would feel the same way even if they had not been able to help him financially. He says in Philippians 4:11

“I have learnt in those circumstances in which I am, to be satisfied in myself.

Some translations say “content” instead of “satisfied,” but to me, contentment includes an element of happiness, whereas satisfaction is simply enough. I have enough, and I am satisfied within my heart. I think I should write that down and include it as an affirmation during my morning quiet time every single day, or at least during those sleepless nights.

Proverbs 4:14 says, 

“A heart that turns [from God] becomes bored with its own ways, but a good person is satisfied with God’s ways."

Am I bored because I’m trying to follow my own ways and not God’s? These verses (and others) remind me that when I’m following God’s path, I can have a peace within that allows me to be satisfied and content in all circumstances. 

But there’s more to the parable of the stray cantaloupe. I believe God is telling me that wherever I go and whatever I do (even when I stray), He is with me. In one of David’s most beautiful Psalms, he sings, 

Lord, you examine me and know me.

You know when I sit down and when I get up;

even from far away you understand my motives.

You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest;

you are aware of everything I do.

Certainly my tongue does not frame a word

without you, O Lord, being thoroughly aware of it.

You squeeze me in from behind and in front;

you place your hand on me.

Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension;

it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it.

Where can I go to escape your spirit?

Where can I flee to escape your presence?

If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there.

If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be.

If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn,

and settle down on the other side of the sea,

even there your hand would guide me,

your right hand would grab hold of me.

How comforting! Once again, I’m thankful for my tiny garden that continually provides me a harvest of lessons. Even if I go astray to find greener pastures or try to escape circumstances, God has my back! In fact, he is up close and right behind me,  right in front of me, and all around me. There’s no need to be anxious about tomorrow; there’s no need to regret yesterday; wherever I go, His right hand reaches down from heaven, grabs hold of me, and guides me. I can be satisfied knowing that. 

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™