Nothing will completely remove the pain we feel through the losses and struggles in our life.
But there is a way to live through it.
This morning, I was talking to my 14 year old about contentment since he asked about it concerning his literature assignment.
I said, imagine if you are swimming across a lake and you begin to struggle. You are getting tired and eventually are gasping for air. Then you feel an arm reach around you, helping to bring you safely to shore.
Would you push away this help?
Would you fight it and say you can do it alone?
Would you blame your savior for your inability to swim the lake?
Would you even be angry at the lake?
We live in a world of very wonderful moments, full of beauty and enjoyment. But it is intermingled with pain and struggles. God doesn’t hide this from us. He clearly tells us in the scripture we will have pain and suffering, but says He is with us always.
God is that hand reaching down to us. Do you fight against Him?
As you learn to trust Him, you learn to be content no matter what your circumstances are, because you have come to know He is with you.
Some people stay angry with their struggles and even turn their anger toward God, saying he should have prevented this or that.
We don’t have all the answers. That is what faith is. It is believing what God says even when we don’t feel like it. Soon we find ourselves becoming stronger and content because we also learn that life is short compared to eternity, where God is waiting for us, ready to wipe away all our tears (and perhaps explain some things!)
It is clear our world is imperfect. We see sickness, loss, physical and mental pain, and death.
It’s not fair.
Yet, it is what it is and how we deal with it will make us either suffer in our own bitterness or we find contentment despite our suffering.
Contentment is like a steady, burning candle. There are no extremes of excessive light, searching your mind for every negative emotion, nor shadowy dimness, pulling you into an abyss of darkness and despair.
Contentment is light that provides you with what you need for today.
When we think of contentment, we often associate it with an accomplishment. You worked very hard at something and you were successful.
Or, it’s that warm, calm feeling listening to rhythm of the rain hitting the roof at night.
Moments like these are just that. Moments.
What if I told you it is possible to have contentment everyday?
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and more. Yet, he says this:
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.
Contentment comes from accepting what you cannot change. But you can only truly accept when you believe God is with you.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.