The Gift of Contentment
“I am not saying this because I am in need, 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.” (Philippians 4:11-12)The Apostle Paul wrote these verses as he sat in a dirty, foul-smelling Roman prison. Yet, he was truly content. Had that been me, I’m sure I would have been screaming – furious at the lack of cleanliness, furious at the circumstances, furious at the unfairness of it all.
Still, I have experienced times of true contentment. I have realized that these times of true contentment are when I have listened and been obedient to what God has told me to do. Or the times when I have relinquished to God a problem I’ve been wrestling with and I’ve left that problem with Him to solve. I’ve completely let go of worrying about it, of trying to “fix it” and left it in Jesus’ most capable hands to resolve it as He sees fit. That is very hard for me to do – I’m such a fixer – I want to fix everything. And I’m impatient too. I want to fix it and I want to fix it NOW! So in addition to giving that problem to God, I have to be content with His timetable – not mine. It’s not easy, but I’m learning. One thing I do know – God’s solutions are always more satisfactory than mine would ever be and the contentment is much sweeter than when I try to fix the problem. In fact, there is no contentment when I try to fix the situation.
My commitment is to learn to live in true contentment all the time. It should be easy. All I have to do is unfurl this fist that is tightly woven around this problem…..Father, I ask in the name of Jesus, that You would help us let go of the problems that would prevent us from being content. I pray that You would enable us to leave those problems in Your hands, knowing that Your solutions are always for the best. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© December, 2009