I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength – Philippians 4:12-13 NLT
I was supposed to write this a few weeks ago and I cannot lie, I have struggled. A part of me thinks that people should not settle. Another part of me feels like I am not content because I want things that I do not have. Yet another part of me is simply, not content because I feel like life should be better. For this reason, I did not write it all those weeks ago, thinking that if I did not write it when I was supposed to, the feeling of obligation would pass and I would not have to write about the beauty of contentment I do not feel. It has not. No further ideas are coming to me until I put pen to paper on this subject, so, here you go.
I certainly do not feel qualified to write this because as I write, I am not currently content and it feels false to write about contentment when I do not feel content. My discontentment is not material, in that aspect, I AM content. I do not NEED anything material. I can get all my wants with a little planning. However, in other areas, like my health, my faith, my life plans, I am not content. For these reasons, I do not feel justified in discussing the beauty of contentment when I very clearly, want more.
Do not misunderstand me, there are times in my life where I have been entirely content and in those times, I thoroughly appreciated the beauty of contentment. During those times, I discovered that I was content because I may have been repressed. The things I wanted but could not get, I shoved into the sea of gratefulness because the truth is, it could be worse but is that true contentment? Possibly.
Still, in other ways, in thinking about when I felt content. When I felt truly content. My basic needs were met, I did not want for anything, the things I could not change were out of my hands and the things I could, required time. I think back to the way I was feeling and I understood why contentment has numerous benefits.
I have never been the person who would start scheming to get what I wanted, I would never break the law to get what I wanted, that has never been my style. Scheming and plotting has never been a part of my personality – thank God. Instead, I would sit with my wants and imagine what it would look like if I had them. I would accept my fate – if it was supposed to be mine, it would be. I work for what I can, pray for a miracle with the work I did and accept the outcome. I am still like this.
Whether the outcome was good or bad, for the most part, I realised I was happiest when I was content. I was at peace, there was no bitterness, sitting with myself was an exercise in stillness. I enjoyed being me. I remember one day, I was watching yet another movie and was laughing at a scene. Time felt like it stopped and a voice asked me why I had the audacity to be so happy being jobless and stateless when my friends had achieved so much. It felt surreal. I stopped and looked down at myself. I was having the time of my life at a time in my life when others would be sorrowful…
I paused and I thought about it. My joblessness at the time could not be helped. I had done all I knew to do, even started a business yet, things were bad. Was I supposed to kill myself over something I had no control over? Of course not! I excused myself from the nonsense I was hearing and went back to enjoying myself. These voices of defeat had no power over my mind because I was content.
My mental health at that time was fabulous because I was content. I was able to trust God and hear Him because I was content…you get the picture? This is what contentment does. It allows our faith thrive, it allows peace to reign, worry is a non-issue. Self-condemnation is non-existent and the best part, we are able to enjoy the present in its fullness. There is no heartache about the past or stress about the future. It is an acknowledgement that all that could be will be and all that is not, simply, is not. This is the beauty of contentment.
It is accepting and coming to terms with all that life throws your way. It is making the best of the worst. It is acknowledging that nothing (except God) can change this and waiting with a joyful expectation that at the appropriate time, God will do what He wants to do for me. It is a trusting in the God Who made you. This is the beauty of contentment.
There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven—
Ecclesiastes 3:1 AMP
The beauty of contentment is trust. Freedom from the race of the ever-moving finish line (do not confuse this with growth). It is reassurance in the knowledge of God. It is living in peace. Knowing that all God has said, is true. It is living a life, free of envy, strife, jealousy and hatred. It is not only loving but appreciating every moment of your journey – no matter how ugly or hard.
The beauty of contentment is harmonious. Harmony is every area of life. Who does not want to live that type of life? I know I do and I know you want to, too.
…and so I pray for you, as I pray for myself. That we begin to live a life of contentment in all the areas that matter. I pray that we grow more grateful for the things we have been blessed with and we accept the things we cannot change. I pray that we arise and change the things we can whilst we wait patiently to see the good and wonderful things written in God’s plans for us. I pray that the eyes of our understanding grows and that we also grow in wisdom. I pray that we never lose hope but that we grow in faith as we live lives that are rich in gratitude as we experience the reality and beauty of contentment. In Jesus name, Amen.
Love and Blessings,