Learning To Be Content


calmwater_300I believe I must have scared my gentle readers with my last post (Update 03.14.16).  I admit that I was hurting deeply, that I felt like ‘I was on the moon’ type of lonely, and that I was frustrated, but I was not mad at anyone.

I was trying to explain how my life was now that Terrie is not with me.  Others may have children or
friends or their pet to talk with, but that is not my case.  I would get a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair for the animal to be separated as much during the day as would be necessary.  I’m not ready to push for bringing your dog to work every day benefit.

I truly apologize to those who think that I ‘flipped my lid’.  I have decisions to make about my future.  In my belief system, it’s more correct to say, decisions as to how my     attitude will be to God’s plan for my future.  The Bible says that my steps are ordered by Him (Psalm 37:23).  Will I resist those steps kicking and screaming? Or will I accept those steps knowing that what He has for me is good, right, and true, and go in peace?

As much as I would want someone to love me and be my wife, if you just settle for ‘someone’ you might get the Proverbs 21:19 wife (“It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and vexing woman.”)  Or Proverbs 25:24 or Proverbs 27:15.  What does the writer of Proverbs know about wives?  Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines.   Can I get an Amen?

It was pointed out to me, that I was blessed to have Terrie for so much of my life.  She balanced my life by being able to do things that I was not good at doing.  My challenge now is to learn how to live without her.  Therein lies the rub – it hurts to have to go through those lessons.  That’s reality.  But I must change to continue living a fruitful, productive life.  If I live to be as old as my grandfather, I have forty more years!!  I don’t want to waste the number of days I have left by being defeated and destroyed.  That’s not who I am.

I was pondering a thought from a familiar bible passage which came to mind from Philippians 4.  This chapter is a gold mine of inspirations to me.  The thought of being content in whatever circumstance I find myself was my focus.  The Greek word for content gives the idea of self-sufficiency, of being satisfied with yourself; to be at peace with yourself.  To be discontent is to not be satisfied with yourself or be at peace.

11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4: 11-13 NASB

I realized I was discontented.  I had taken my eye off the ball.  It is kind of like texting while driving.  It doesn’t take much to get you into trouble.

I looked closer at Paul’s claim of learning the secret of being content.  I wanted to know more about what this secret that Paul was talking about.   On his “Grace To You “website, John MacArthur wrote about six things that dealt with the secret of contentment (What Is The Secret Of Contentment).  Here are his points with my reactions.

Learn to give thanks in all things – Ok, that works well with my idea of ‘giving thanks in everything’ approach that I have taken.

Learn to rest in God’s providence – Yes, I believe that God is sovereign and that He has a purpose for my life.  I get squirrely with the resting part though.

Learn to be satisfied with little– I think I could do well with less material things, but emotionally I’m stopped temporarily.  Like, as the old saying goes, a calf looking at a new gate.  If I believe God is sovereign, then I must apply this to my life.

Learn to live above life’s circumstances – Death and the pain of grief is part of our life.  My focus is to be on what Christ is doing in my life through this period of time.

Learn to rely on God’s power and provision – I can rely on God’s faithfulness and His strength.  I don’t have to rely on my abilities.  “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Learn to become preoccupied with the well-being of others – If I only look at myself, the results will be discontentment.  If I look outward, I will prosper.

So, the secret has to be found in Jesus.  I don’t have the ability or power to be satisfied, but He does.  I have to keep looking to Him for everything.

Baby steps!  Yes, I know.  They kill me, but I know they are necessary.  I’m so thankful for a God that is patient with me….and family and friends.

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