"For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Philippians 4:11).

Throughout our lives we have or will experience a moment of mental lapse in a time we are anxious over a matter. It may be that we want something "so bad we can taste it," so bad we can lose ourselves completely in thought of it. Some express their obsession with words like, "I must have it or I'll die!" But that's one extreme. The not so extreme would be what most of us are possibly more familiar with. That being that we are not laden with obsession, but distracted by want. But not so much that we make some verbal proclamations regarding our death if we can not possess what we want. Instead, we conceal our aspirations and secretly dwell on them. They become a distraction and a source of worry and anxiety. And though we may not be obsessed by what we want, we are certainly not content without it.
What kinds of things could distract us so? It could be anything, or sometimes many things. We can easily grow anxious over whether or not we will get a desired job, be accepted into a desired college, or be accepted into some organization. It could be something material: a new house, a car, a boat, or any other material possession. It could be an aspiration for a certain person that distracts us, hoping that certain someone will go out with you, have dinner with you, or marry you.
But why the anxiety? It is not because we have aspirations. Aspirations are quite normal and they are healthy as long as they do not become lust or obsession. No, it is not the healthy aspiration that causes the trouble but fear. It is the fear that what seems to be something we might be able to have might be taken away, or kept just out of reach. All the right doors may have opened and everything may be suggesting that you will be getting something you have hoped for, for so long; and yet, we fear that something or someone will snatch it away from us, or that it is simply too good to be true. And so we worry, and we fret, and we imagine things that have no place in reality--and as it has been said, "We get all worked up over nothing."
But we can hope to have, yet remain content. We can aspire for this or that and set our goals without embracing lust or obsession. And we can escape anxiety and fear by giving it all over to God. Easier said than done--right? Maybe so. Yet, God knows our desires already and He also knows what is best for us. So how we free ourselves from anxiety is by doing just a couple of things: First we talk to God about what we want. We tell Him how we feel and why we desire what we want and why we would like to have it. Then we turn it over to Him by giving it up. In other words, we acknowledge that our desire may not be what is best, and we recognize that what God desires is what is best for us. And so we tell Him, "This is what I want, nevertheless, do for me what you want because I know what you want is what is best."
After we have brought it to Him the second step is to leave it with Him. In this we find contentment and peace, and we demonstrate our trust in His decision. We entrust it to His capable and loving hand, and we tell ourselves, "Now it is in His hands, I do not have to worry about it anymore. If He wants it for me I will have it. And if He does not want it for me, I am better off without it." In this we can find contentment with what we already have or where we already are, yet we can also hold onto aspirations knowing that God will lead us toward those that are beneficial, and away from those that are not.

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