"...For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. " Phil 4:11b (NAS)
This verse was at the center of our Sunday School lesson yesterday. It has grabbed a hold of me and will not let go. I am wrestling with this virtue of being content in whatever circumstance I find myself. But am I to be content in all things?
I do believe God wants me to be content with my material goods. I do not need to chase after the things of this world that will never satisfy, nor last. It does not matter that my household furnishings do not make a fashion statement. I can find contentment in my clothes, food, and shelter, but should I ever be content with my walk with God? Or a less than satisfactory relationship with those around me?
In searching my heart I cannot say that I am content with my Christian walk. I, like Paul, press hard toward Christ. I want to be a disciple that does what I have read and heard, but I know that I am not there yet. I have far to go before I can be content in my daily living for Jesus. The same is true for my relationships with others.
I cannot sit back and pretend to be content with my marriage when I too often love myself more than I love my husband. My failures as a friend or neighbor also produce discontentment and urge me to discipline myself to be better.
Contentment. It is a two faced coin of being and striving. For me, my heart must continually chase after God and His place for me. It is only in Him that I can be content. Therefore I can only be content in the place where I am running hard after Him.
You, O Lord are my Hiding Place! You are my Strong Tower and my Refuge! It is only in You that I find safety and contentment. But, Lord, I will never rest contentledly and completely in You until Heaven is my only home. Forgive me, Jesus, for the times when my feet are slow to follow You; when my eyes focus on this world and fail to see that You have planned much more for me. Thank You for making me thirst after You. Thank You for allowing short moments of contentment to tempt me onward to find more of You! Fill me with a desire for Your holiness and You completness. I will forever need to seek more of You.