It’s a long title I know, but not long ago God decided that I needed to have a better grasp on the concept of contentment… I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, not happy with my circumstances, but let me put things in perspective…
Before we moved to where we are now, we lived in a small place with the neighbour’s door facing ours. Many days we unwillingly got to watch what they were watching on TV (lucky us). It felt very crowded and there was no where to get away. I was discontent, thinking to myself, if only we lived somewhere better, then I would be happy.
Fast-forward a bit and here I am living across the road from the beach in a small community. I can see the ocean from my bedroom window and I take my son for walks on the beach most days. So there I was on the beach boohooing myself (I know it’s stupid, but I’m just being honest about where I was in my head.), and there is God with this exclamation point hanging over the situation. It’s easy to see why people would be discontent when they have little, but I discovered you can be just as discontent with plenty. But I was afraid that if I felt content with were I was in life, that I would stay there. I only half believed that, so that half battled with the other half of me that was willing to learn and change. I also noticed that there is a macabre satisfaction in being unhappy.
I love what Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV) ‘…for I have 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 everything through him who gives me strength.’
The great thing about being a Christian is that when you give your life to Christ and become like a servant to him, you are no longer bound by your circumstances, because circumstances are no obstruction to God’s plans. He can pick you up and put you down somewhere new in the blink of an eye. In fact, our move out here to the beach all happened within about 2 weeks. And that was really the light bulb for me. Learning that to be content does not mean you are satisfied with where you are in life, but it is an understanding that ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength’. And one really great outcome that happened from not thinking about myself so much is that I can begin to hear God a whole lot clearer.
At the moment, nothing has changed except my attitude, and I am so grateful for that because I am enjoying the beach so much more now!