the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
Archaic. the act of making contentedly satisfied.
I used to be so fearful of being content in certain seasons of my life.
I remember thinking that if I learned to be content and happy in a season of life where I was still waiting for answered prayer, that God might not bring what I want because I was happy.
It is kind of foolish to think back on now- why would God not bring the desires of my heart when I am happy?
There have been a lot of seasons in my life that I have had to do alone- and the whole time I struggled with the feelings and thoughts that came with never wanting my life to play out the way that it was unfolding.
I struggled a lot. I struggled with being happy and I struggled with feeling content in these seasons.
Looking back now I cling more to the happy memories than the hard ones, but underneath it all I know I could have enjoyed those seasons more fully had I allowed myself to be content in those moments.
But for some reason I lived under this mindset that if I accept where I am at, alone, God will never bring the desires of my heart.
But let's be honest for a moment- that is just not true and not how God operates.
God has always had a great plan for my life.
I am still walking it out and still have so much more to encounter, but God did not create this plan for my life where I am to be miserable and sulking over the things He has yet to bring into my life.
God was not withholding good things because I was sad and miserable. God has perfect timing, and everything comes together in the way that it is supposed to.
That was another lesson I had to learn in those hard seasons- God has perfect timing; and generally, if I do not have what I want it is because it is either not something good for me, or it is not His timing.
How many sleepless nights or nights spent crying and being sad over things I did not have, could I have saved myself from had I chosen a different perspective?
What if I had I prayed and asked for Him to help me be content? How much more could I have received out of those seasons?
My journey with contentment relied around being single while wanting to be married and having children, but I am also very aware that this spills into all areas of our lives, for example:
The woman who is waiting for a promotion…
The woman who is waiting for unanswered prayer for a loved one…
The woman who is waiting for a health scare to be over or resolved…
The woman is who praying through a really difficult relationship…
The woman who is waiting for a financial blessing to pay a bill...
There are so many areas of our lives where we need to find contentment and God’s peace.
To help with a proper mindset around contentment we can turn to the Bible and take in what it teaches us:
- We need to choose contentment knowing that God is always with us to help us, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
- We can be content in our weaknesses because that’s where we find God’s strength, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
- We should be content in knowing that whatever we attain in this world was never ours to begin with, and does not go with us when we leave, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10
We can know that God is always with us, especially in the seasons we walk alone.
God will give us the contentment to enjoy these hard seasons- we simply have to choose the perspective that God has not forgotten us and that if He is withholding something, it simply means it is not for our best and/or not the best timing.
Consider this, the next time you are finding yourself walking through something hard, what if you choose to be content despite what was happening within and around you? How much more joy and fullness could you experience in that season?
What if you choose, despite the circumstances, to take a contented stance to show God that you trust Him no matter what you are lacking?
When you look back on those seasons, it may not feel as painful as it could have been, and you might be able to see all the ways God was providing that you might have missed if you were not content.
There is so much more for you in these isolated seasons.
Know that choosing contentment does not rob you of the things you do not yet have- it gives you more joy and strength for those tougher times.