Contentment isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us. In fact, most of us drift toward discontentment. What can we do to combat this?
Growing up, my Mamaw always told me, “If you ain’t content in where you are, you’ll never be content in where you are going.” I can remember being fascinated by her joy and her love for others and wanting to be just like her when I was older, but I never knew how much this one quote would come back to me through the different seasons life brings.
I grew up in Pinellas Park, FL, lived in the same house and went to the same church for the first 17 years of my life. One day, my dad came home from work and said, “alright, I did it, I gave my notice, and we are moving to Georgia.” At first, I was so excited about this because we had talked about moving to Georgia for years, but once it was a reality, I was not so sure about it. Four months passed, and we went driving up to Bethlehem, Georgia. Now I know you are asking yourself, who in their right mind would move from Florida to a little town called Bethlehem?? Me, I would!
When we first got to Georgia, I loved it because I love new things and new places, but once it set in that I had to give up my family and friends I had always been around, I was not too happy about it. Here is where the whole discontentment set in. I was ready to move back to where I was comfortable.
It is easy to be content when you are comfortable, but true faith sets in when you are uncomfortable but still choose to be content. Fast forward four years to now… me and my husband Dylan have been married for six months, which means we have this whole marriage thing figured out (not in the slightest, but I am enjoying this new season!).
The season of singleness before I met Dylan was not the easiest, but I had to decide to be content in who I was and where the Lord had me, which has helped me enjoy this new season even more and realize how much of a blessing Dylan (the gift of marriage) is.
The past six months have not all been sunshine and rainbows, but the quote from Mamaw has come up so many times in our conversations as a reminder to be thankful for every blessing from the Lord. It is easy for me to get caught up in the things I don’t have or to compare myself with others, and it will always leave me wanting more (being discontent). We can learn from Paul in Philippians 4:11-13 - “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
There is so much peace in knowing that God is still good and with us during the highs and the lows and in every circumstance. The Lord will never leave or forsake me; the same is true for you. People are going to fail you, the job you have could end, singleness will feel like a never-ending season, marriage will be challenging, and having kids will bring new struggles, but the thing that never changes is Christ’s love and goodness. You can be content in knowing that your identity is in Christ. You can be content knowing that He has a plan and a purpose for you. You can be content in your weaknesses because it forces you to rely on Him, not yourself.
His grace is sufficient for YOU, for his power is made perfect in weakness. YOU can boast in YOUR weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon YOU. 2 Corinthians 12:9
If you are anything like me, you do not like to admit that you are weak or need help, but I have seen time and time again that when I humbly come to the Lord and admit that I have messed up and need help, I am filled with His strength and can live out the plans He has for me. My prayer for you is that you are encouraged to lay your weaknesses down and admit that you can’t do it alone. And remember that “if you ain’t content in where you are, you will never be content in where you are going.”