Contentment. What does it bring to your mind? I don’t know about you, but I think of someone who’s totally at peace, joyful, not a care in the world. Or that elusive “After struggling for years, I reached a point where I was totally content with being single, and then out of the blue he asked me out, and now we’re getting married”. Like contentment is some special plane that we arrive at one day.
I’m not denying that we can reach a point in our relationship with Jesus where a struggle truly is less of a struggle, and there is a feeling of “arrival” where you consistently find victory over a specific sin and it no longer has the power over you that it once had. I’m finding, however, that contentment is a daily choice, not a point you reach and never have to consider again.
Girls, we’re going to be in less-than-ideal circumstances all of our lives. There will always be something we think we lack. Something to be discontent about. Something or someone we wish we could change. We will always be waiting for something, be it a husband or a baby or a bigger house or a new location or a better church or a higher paying job or for the kids to leave or for closer friends. The list goes on.
What if instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we focused on what we do have?
What if instead of focusing on what we desire, we focus on Christ?
What if instead of “waiting”, we commit to living fully right where we are?
This isn’t some mystical thing. No. It’s real life, every day choosing, continual focusing. It’s looking to Jesus right now and in an hour and tomorrow and the next day and so on. It’s surrendering our hopes and dreams to His perfect will and praying boldly for His best. It’s trusting that Jesus will lead us and that He’s got this thing.
Peace is not the absence of trouble. It’s the knowledge that God is with us in the trouble, and He’s in control. Joy is not perfect circumstances. It’s a choice to rejoice in what we do have, in who God is, in the wonderful future He has planned for us in heaven.
I remember reading a book called “Journey of the Heart”. In case you haven’t read it, I won’t spoil the ending, but basically, it’s a story about a young lady who is struggling with singleness, failed relationships, and her siblings getting married. She reaches a point in the story where she has this big breakthrough, a moment of full surrender where she chooses to let God be in control and be not just okay, but joyful in where He has her right now. And then she wakes up the next morning assuming that the struggle will be gone now, that she’s resolved it all. But it’s not. Those same feelings come right back, and she’s surprised. She learns that walking with Jesus is much more than a one-time decision, but rather a journey.
And so it is. It’s a beautiful journey of growing and trusting and learning. As hard as it’s been at times, I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything. Jesus has grown so precious to me. He’s taught me so much, loved me tenderly, reminded me that He is faithful and His plan is so much bigger than what I can see. Yes, I still choose contentment every day. Yes, I fail sometimes. Some days, some seasons are harder than others. But I know that what He is forging in me right now is worth it.
I’m in this for life, see? This journey, this walk with Jesus will continue through the seasons of life, and I’ll get to choose Jesus every day till the day I die. What a precious truth! It doesn’t mean that the desires go away, or that it’s necessarily wrong to be proactive in pursuing a good, God-given desire, but it does mean that I leave it ultimately in His hands. It means active obedience, pursing Jesus and every opportunity that He gives me, and it also means knowing that He is in control.
So can you find contentment? Yes. It starts today. It starts every moment you look to Jesus and choose Him, choose His kingdom, choose His will, and resolve to live radiantly for Him.
Blessings on the journey, sisters!