Contentment….that’s a hard one.
“The test of whether Christ is enough rarely happens when life is great. Your truest answer to the contentment question may come in your worst moments.”
(Kendrick, 2015, p. 57)
Contentment–strong enough to need no aid or support; sufficient; independent of external circumstances; contented with one’s lot, with ones means, though the slenderest.”
It’s the last part of the definition that makes it tough;
‘though the slenderest’
We, Americans, don’t truly understand the slenderest unless we are without food, shelter, safety, security, loss of good health. “When you are plagued with discontentment, how does drawing near to Jesus help you find contentment?
Since I’ve recently struggled with this due to a recent baby boom in our family, I can relate. My minds thinks, I need a “great room”, a bigger kitchen, a basement with bunks for sleepovers and storage for toys. Not bad things to hope for…..just not key to what they need. The current, not so great room, is full of love and the love of Christ…..the thing they will need most in their little lives as they grow and learn how cruel and painful this great big world is.
Although material shortcomings spotlight most of our discontentment. Physical pain is an altogether different beast. Drawing near to Jesus in discontentment is harder when experiencing physical suffering. For instance, when your body is so wracked with pain you cannot sleep or think of anything but the pain. Or, facing a chronic disease with no cure.
Therefore, grasping Him in this time of need is crucial. The Messiah felt more pain than I, agonized more than I, was beaten and mocked…not I. Jesus bore his weight on a tree with nails through his hands and feet. So, if He shifted his weight one way or the other the excruciating sensation only shifted from one body part to another. This is where I pause and rejoice in my pain and suffering. It is small compared to what He suffered for me. A short part of life on the journey to my true home.
Lastly, Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13…….”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. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”
Bless you this day! May your heart be content in Christ.