Content: a state of peaceful happiness; a state of satisfaction; pleased; fulfilled; happy; cheerful; glad; unworried; untroubled; at ease; at peace; tranquil; serene
Wow. Those words paint such a vivid picture of what it means to be content, don’t they?
I love those kinds of days when everything is peaceful; I don’t have a worry or a care in the world. Those kinds of “Snow White” days where the birds are chirping and I’m singing while I clean up around the house. My prayers those days have been nothing but gratefulness for the day he has made and allowed me to wake up to. I am relaxed, full of joy, and pretty content.
Let’s get real, though. Most days aren’t at all Snow White days. We wake up too early and all we can think about is making coffee and snuggling under a blanket on the couch to try and wake up to the rest of the day. We might be running late to take kids to school. Get stuck in traffic trying to get on post. Spill said coffee before even a sip touches our lips. Someone cuts us off in said traffic.
Then there’s the bigger things. Anxiety, stress of life, stress at work, stress at home, transitions, empty nest syndrome, feeling not enough, I could go on and on. Those things don’t exactly conjure up visions of tranquility and happiness. They often end up in feelings of worry and with us looking at our troubles instead of the One who calls us to live untroubled and unworried.
In Philippians, Paul tells us that he has learned to be content whatever the circumstances,
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:12-13 NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I find that quite challenging. Wait a minute, Paul, you mean to tell me that in the midst of all this moving transition I need to be content? That in dealing with finding new friends, grief, feelings of loss, missing my son (the list could carry on forever), you mean in all of that, I am supposed to feel glad? I am supposed to be at peace. I am supposed to be satisfied with those circumstances?
What is it for you? What makes you go “pshhhh” when you read those words from Paul?
Content? With this?
The truth is, yes we are. We are to be drawing our strength from the only One who holds it in the palm of his hand. We are to be taking our grief to him, our feelings of loss, frustrations over contract disputes on a house we’re attempting to sell. Yes, even those are to return to the Father. We need to be asking him to be our constant companion when we feel lonely. We need to be asking him to intervene and settle our disputes. We need to be asking him to ease our grief and remove our worry.
It isn’t easy.
It is an intentional act I am personally, just now, being obedient to utilize. I wish I had heard this truth earlier in my life, like before my mom died, before my brother went to prison, before my husband got sick. But then, I wouldn’t have the testimony or the strength I have now to be obedient if I had heard it earlier.
Just like you, my beloved. YOU wouldn’t have your testimony if it weren’t for the trials.
See, God works things out in his own time. He knows when we need to hear things, when we need certain people in our life to speak his truth, and he knows what events will need to occur to cause that obedience and that contentment.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it and we are growing every single day because of it.
So, whether we have the presence of a mom on earth, or we feel the loss, we are to be content.
Whether we have husbands who are struggling, or we are still waiting on Prince Charming, we are to be content.
Whether we have children we are worried about, or still waiting for the day to hold a baby, we are to be content.
Whether our house sells, or not, we are to be content.
Whether we live out our days in Kentucky or Alabama or Pennsylvania, or not, whether this is our home, we’re retired, we’re just starting this amazing Army life journey, we have family right next door, or we’re hundreds or even thousands of miles away from those we love, WE CAN BE CONTENT.
Because no matter where we are, he goes before us and he is always with us.
So come alongside me, sweet sisters, as we grow to be content in all of our circumstances.
Because he is holding us, no matter what.
Father, we are just so humbled to be in your presence today. We come before you asking for the strength only you can give us to be content in all circumstances. Life can get pretty worrisome and troubled at times but we know that you take all of that and work it for our good. We know that in whatever season you have us, it is sure to shine your glory into the next season. We pray that we are being obedient to the call you have put on our lives to grow alongside each other and lend a helping hand whenever needed, to share with those who are in need, and practice hospitality whenever and wherever we can. Father, I pray that you would provide a hedge of protection around us and lead, guide, and direct our steps always. For it’s in your Son’s precious name I pray, amen.