For years I struggled with discontentment. I loved God and said I trusted Him. But a relentless barrage of sorrows, challenges, and difficulties weighed heavy in my mind and soul. Stuck in a pit, I needed to learn the secret of being content no matter what.
- My oldest daughter, Kimberly, left her husband for another man. I can still hear her defiant words, “King David did it, and he was a man after God’s own heart.”
- My youngest daughter, Erin, two grandchildren, Zach and Katie, and their dog, came to live with us for two years.
- Kimberly passed away unexpectedly, throwing me into a season of grief I didn’t expect.
- This grief kept me from meeting the needs of Erin, grieving the loss of her marriage and her sister and best friend.
- My principal decided to restructure the team I’d been part of and loved working with. The new team members had a different style than I did. Suddenly, I didn’t seem to belong.
- Finances were extremely tight. We moved from a neighborhood and home we loved to one we didn’t like.
- In an instant, Mom, who was vibrant and healthy, needed 24/7 care. I couldn’t provide it and carried a load of guilt because I left my sister too often alone.
So, I whined and complained and pouted. I denied my discontentment, blaming the circumstances, listing them for God. As though He didn’t know already.
Finding the Secret
Two and a half years ago, I wanted to escape. Move away from the troubles and quit trying. I even convinced Van to go to Arizona and look around. But Van’s words, “If your mom wasn’t sick and finances weren’t an issue, would you still want to move? Do you feel this is the right thing to do, or are you simply not content?”
Those words hurt, but I realized they were true. Paul writes, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12) Paul learned the secret of being content. Always.
Learned. I can move out of this pit and learn to be content. And God will help me. I asked for the wrong thing. God didn’t need to change my circumstances; He needed to change me.
And He did.
The Secret of Learning to be Content
Secret 1: Take Refuge in His Word.
He will wrap you in His love and grace through the promises there. God tells us, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Whenever you feel discontentment flood your mind and heart, take refuge in His Word.
Secret 2: Remember His faithfulness.
Go back in time and remember all the times God faithfully helped you. Let the reminders of His goodness in the past encourage you for what He will do now. “I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:12)
Secret 3: Lament.
Pour out your heart to God. Tell Him how you feel, expecting Him to answer. Ask for His intervention. Read the Psalms of lament and follow their pattern. The Psalms of lament go into detail about what troubles the psalmist. But they don’t end there. After describing the trouble and despair, the psalmist expresses his confidence in God and praises Him.
Secret 4: Be patient.
Remember, learning to be content is like learning anything else. It takes time and practice. Don’t give up! Read God’s Word, especially the Psalms. Remember His faithfulness. Turn your discontent into your own psalm of lament.
Sharing today with #fiveminutefriday
I may also link with:
Inspire Me Monday, Blessed (but Stressed), Moments of Hope, Glimpses of Beauty, LLML Link-up, Trekking Thru, #tellhisstory, Tea and Word Tuesday, Ra-Ra Link-up, Writer Wednesday, Woman to Woman, Porch Stories, Coffee for Your Heart, Dream Together, Chasing Community, Heart Encouragement, Tune-in Thursday, Salt and Light, Quietly Through Thursday, Thankful and Grateful Thursday, Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire, Fresh Market Friday, Counting My Blessings, Sunday Thoughts, Spiritual Sundays, Sunday Scripture Blessing.