“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”-Philippians 4:11
I think we all know or have heard of that verse. It is often preached or taught on. Contentment is a lovely lesson once learned, and actually is essential in our lives if we are to be Christians to the fullest extent.
I find it kind of funny, how such a simple word, only used sixteen times in the Bible, can give such a dramatic difference when present in our lives. It’s not something that we can just “decide to learn” or “decide to be” on the fly. It’s something the Lord has to show us and teach us Himself. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard teaching or read books about in this particular subject, and though the information was really helpful, I didn’t fully understand it until the Lord brought me to a point where I was ready to learn it.
I know many girls who have struggled with this topic. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to find a girl that didn’t struggle with being content. I know I had quite a hard time learning the true meaning of contentment, and now as I am learning to apply what I’ve learned, the Lord shows himself faithful to see that I remain humble in my contentment by allowing me to mess up.
Would you believe me if I told you that we ourselves cause discontentment? Think about it. When are the times that we are most discontent? When we can’t do something, when something doesn’t go our way, or when we think we are punished or accused unfairly. Satan led me to think that I couldn’t serve God to the fullest extent while I was still living at home. I was going through a spiritual growth spurt, and was learning a lot about God and serving Him. “How can I serve with just being in my family?” I was soon to learn that living at home and serving my family is one of the biggest blessings God gives us as daughters.
The two things I had continually brought before the Lord was, “How can I serve You when I’m still at home?” and “What is Your will for my life?” I had heard and read about so many young people who were “finding out what God’s will for their lives” were. I was kind of jealous, kind of anxious. When was God going to reveal His will to me?
Little by little, without me realizing it, the Lord did show me His will. He began to teach me the importance of serving my family, and the importance of our family ministry. Before I knew it, my goal in life was to do what I could to help our family. In material things, I began to teach my little brother’s school, do our family garden, and raise chickens. I began to learn how to be “available” and put myself last, take an interest in my family in general. Learning to take an interest and encourage each and every one of my siblings, learning how to support my dad and older brothers in their interests and undertakings, learning how to be an example to my siblings, the list goes on and on. As soon as I realized this was what God’s will for me was, I was better able to be content.
I think that many people have a misconception about the definition of God’s will. As my uncle (who’s a pastor) once said, “God’s will is not what you are going to do for the rest of your life. God’s will is what you are.” Basically, whatever God is teaching you, whether it’s to be more of a servant to your family, a godly daughter, a graceful, feminine girl, a cheering sister, a wonderful organizer, or a musician, that’s what God’s will for you is.
I’ve found wonderful contentment because now I know God’s will for my life is what He’s teaching me RIGHT NOW. I just focus on learning to be graceful, a diligent gardener, a responsible older daughter, (and on with the list). And the neat thing is, He is always is bringing new things to my attention, so I can’t have learned everything and be sitting there with nothing to do. I have no excuse now to be discontent, I’m too busy!
Posts from the Past
Every Wednesday (Now Tuesday!) I post something that I have written in the past. It may have been written a long time ago, or a very, very long time ago! :-D So please forgive any mistakes!