Joshua Swanson: Welcome to The Walk; a devotionals podcast led by worship leaders. In this episode, worship leader, songwriter, and artist, Charity Gayle, brings a story about praying for contentment on our 30th birthday. Here we go.
Charity Gayle: Hey everyone. It’s really great to be here. I would love to talk today about something that God has really helped me with in my life, and that is contentment.
I grew up in a pastor’s home and fell in love with the Lord and fell in love with worshiping the Lord from a very early age. Probably three years old, and there were times in my life where I was very goal oriented and sometimes if those goals didn’t come to pass, I would get very frustrated with myself and feel like I was a failure because it didn’t happen the way I wanted.
Even sometimes in leading worship, um, there would be not the response that I feel like there should have been from the congregation and would feel like a failure. And first and foremost, you can’t base your success on a response. Your success comes from your identity. Just wanna put that out there, first of all, but I was walking through life and I had so many dear, wonderful friends growing up, and one by one I watched my dear friends get engaged, get married, start having children, and, especially as a woman, I felt like there was a certain timeline that these things needed to happen in my life. And when those timelines just kinda went past me one by one, I uh, looked at my 30th birthday.
I was 29 years old, and I was doing really well. I had gotten my degree at school and had a wonderful relationship with the Lord and with my family and friends. But there was something in me that started to break and I looked at my 30th birthday and, and went, oh gosh, Lord, am I really gonna be 30 without what I looked at success was being married and living in my own house and having children at that point, none of that had happened.
And I spoke to the Lord about it and I had asked God, and it may seem a little silly, but this helped me so much, but I asked the Lord for a birthday present and I asked him if he would give me contentment, and I promise you when I woke up on my 30th birthday, I was so full of joy and so full of this beautiful thing called contentment.
And the scriptures talk about just being joyful in all things and to be content and to also not worry about if anything else, if you have food and if you have clothing, you, you need to be content. And so I looked at this point in my life and I also thought it was interesting that turning 30 the next three years I, kind of see the Lord in this way, that his ministry began at 30 and was crucified at a cross on at 33. So I told the Lord, I said, these next three years, God, I, I just want you to remake me from what I thought I needed to be, to what you have called me to be. And I’m telling you the contentment that filled my life, the joy that filled my life, the people that came into my life to help me and steward helped steward my relationship with the Lord was really powerful.
And then I was reminded of David because as a worshiper I loved to read the Psalms. I loved to hear David’s heartbeat and I realized something that David was actually called as a young man, just out in the middle of the fields with the sheep, he was actually anointed to be king. And the next day he goes right back out into the fields and continues to be in that sacred, holy place of being just him and Jesus and his calling for that time, which was to tend the sheep.
And I thought about that and I, I realized, wow, what a contentment. What a beautiful example of what worship is, is to just be with you and God loving on the Lord and I thought about the word worship too, because worship is something that we deem worthy of our time, our talent, and our treasure. And I thought about David in this instance and yes, he built his calling. He had to fight a bear. He had to fight a lion, and he had to fight a giant before he became king. And so I thought about that and I said, Lord, if there’s any way that I need to grow, that’s gonna help me be able to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness and all these things will be added unto me. It didn’t mean that I lost hope for getting married and, and lost hope for those things, but it put it in a proper perspective of I don’t have to grieve something I’ve not lost yet. I don’t have to grieve the fact that I’m not married because we have hope in Jesus and even if I never get married, my hope is still in Jesus. And I think that contentment was so important at that time in my life.
I kept seeing myself as being limited. I didn’t have the financial ability to live somewhere on my own. So, here I am, you know, where the world sees us, 30 year olds still living with our parents as a bad thing. I really took that time to look at my limitations and go, God, how are you going to use this?
And there was a story that I was reading in the Old Testament about a king, evil king, and he conquered every city he would step foot into. And his pride just kept building up time and time again until finally he came to this one city where everyone in the city had gathered into a tower, which by the way the name of the Lord is a strong tower that we run into and are safe. So I thought about that and how interesting that was, that this entire army was surrounding this tower, and the king was so prideful and so haughty that he walks right up to the tower and wouldn’t you know there was this woman atop the tower who had no place to go because the enemy literally was surrounding her on all sides, and she’s standing at the top of this. And she looks over and she sees this prideful king, and she just happened to be in the right place at the right time to take one of the loose stone that was in that tower and push it over the edge and it hits the king in the head.
And then the king says to his sword bearer, he says, you have to kill me now cuz I don’t want it said of me that a woman killed me. And I thought, wow, God, like. Her limitations set her up perfectly for exactly what she needed to do, and she saved the entire city. How amazing is that? God, would you please help me trust you in my limitations and be content through my limitations?
You guys trusting in the Lord with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, that’s not just something that we say on a Sunday morning to make people feel better. That’s something that we have to get so deeply rooted inside ourselves, like David, trust, that even if you know what you’re called to and it hasn’t happened yet, you find your identity in Christ first.
You fall in love with the God of the calling and not the calling itself. You fall in love with the King of Kings first and all these things will be added onto you, every last one of them.
Joshua Swanson: When we come back, Charity closes us out by bringing some scripture from Luke 12.
Before that though, I have a quick announcement to make. At Worship Leader, we’re asked all the time about Song Discovery, which is our brand focused on platforming the new songs of the church. Well, we’ve got some news. That I’ll tell you about soon.
But for those interested in being notified the minute we announce what’s next, just head over to songdiscovery.com and throw your email address in there. I promise it’s gonna be worth the wait.
Okay, back to Charity.
Charity Gayle: So in closings, think on Godly contentment, and it’ll also give you Godly confidence to do what he’s asked you to do. And I would like to read Luke chapter 12, starting at verse 27, “Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, owe you of little faith, and do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried for all the nations of the world seek after these things and your father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” So be blessed in Jesus name.
Joshua Swanson: Thank you Charity for contributing to our podcast, and I’m excited to announce actually that Charity just had her first baby with her husband, Ryan Kennedy. Congratulations, you guys. We’re gonna play out this episode with one of charity songs that I listen to all the time when I’m facing a mountain that I need God to move on my behalf. It’s called, We Need A Miracle.
As always, special thanks to Matt McCartie for producing and editing today’s episode. Jacob Fairclough produced our theme song. The Walk is brought to you by Worship Leader, which is an Authentic Media brand. I’m Joshua Swanson. Here’s, We Need a Miracle.