Friday, December 14, 2007

Contentment...pleased, satisfied, willing

Phillippians 4:11 states, in a nutshell, "...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content..."

When I was looking up the address to this verse I saw that some definitions for contentment are 'pleased', 'satisfied', 'willing'. I knew about the being pleased and satisfied part but the 'willing' part perplexed me. Willing I believe means yielding. How does 'willing' and contentment go together? I always thought contentment was, as stated in the def., being pleased and satisfied, like a great big ahhhhh, happy with my circumstances, in general, happy with my life. But then there's that 'willing' word again. Could that possible mean that I can be content even when there's problems and issues that are screaming at me and saying things like "how can you possibly be content when you're going thru hell?" So this tells me that real contentment does not have anything to do with my emotions.

I'm not content just because I am happy at the moment or just feel good. Because I am going thru issues right now that have my emotions on a roller coaster ride, but yet I believe I can still be content because I am 'willing' or yielding to the One who gives me a peace that goes way beyond whether I'm happy or sad--my emotions, the Word calls it 'peace that passes all understanding'. How can I be content/peaceful when there's such turmoil brewing in me? I don't know, and I don't even have to figure it out! That's what is so awesome. I don't have to waste my time trying to figure it out. I can just rest in His peace and contentment and know that my current circumstances are just a bump in the road, and just like in the past and just like in the future, my life will go on and the problems and issues that have me in turmoil now will go away. I will get through them, and *sigh* there will be more junk awaiting me down the road I'm sure. (Don't worry, I'm not one that goes looking for problems, but hey, we live in a real world.)
I think that awful yukky word Patience is connected with contentment also. Let's face it: When I am going thru something that I have absolutely no control over, something that only God can help me with, then whether I allow patience to work in my life can make or break my contentment. I'm talking about the steady, let's get thru this, what's-something-good-that-I-can-glean-from-this-bump-in-the-road kind of patience. Patience isn't just having to wait. Because then I'll just begin focusing on the future and never be content in the now. Patience says what can I learn from this experience, right now, when my feelings are screaming at me to RUN, quit, move on to something else. But guess what? If I don't allow God to develope patience and yielding in me now, then I'll just be going around the mountain again and again instead moving forward from mountaintop to mountaintop as God intended in the first place. I may even be able to change my 'scenery'--buy a new house, relocate, get a job/different job--but if I don't allow myself to be content and yielding or willing then no matter where I arrive in the future, I'll be back in the same sinking boat, because contentment doesn't come by a change of circumstances but by allowing Christ in me to accomplish what He wills--and now for the PATIENCE part--In His Time!
Now for my disclaimer. I have not arrived! Yes, I am still learning this truth and have failed at it time and again. My theme song many times has been the old children's song "She'll be coming around the mountain one more time TOOT TOOT! But I know that I know that I know that God's wonderful grace picks me up one more time and I can honestly say...
It's All Good!


  1. i found you by way of crazy lady on road 80...and i love this entry about contentment! i have been thinking about this word a lot lately. i describe myself as "content"...for the very reasons you described! the "willing" part is key...and i believe that every day will not be perfect, but we must be faithful and believe that He knows the way. thank you, oh thank you for sharing!

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