Contentment, that word circles my mind, thinking about the depth and breadth of the word. Synonyms include satisfaction, ease of mind, happiness, or the state of being content. In our culture we are fed discontentment - the desire for 'wants'. It creates and unrest in our hearts and minds. Our minds are filled with countless bids for our money and time - all of fleeting interest.
How do we fall into the trap of non-contentment? An early lesson in discontent was when ear muffs became a favorite thing my friends wore. My parents were unable to make this purchase for me. So I was ear muff-less, feeling less than happy with my parents and with my stature with my friends. Several months later, at what cost, I am not sure, they presented me a set of beautiful blue ear muffs. I assured them I didn't want them any more -- no one else was wearing them now. I learned then that we don't always need what we want. There were other times that I have wanted. But I realized that happiness does not depend on owning things, but knowing God's love for me.
It is said, "Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have."
When do I feel contented? Thinking back, I have had many contentment-filled moments. I did not always recognize them at the time for hindsight vision grows exponentially with the years.
As a girl when Dad held my hand as we crossed the street, or now when my husband wraps his arms around me, I feel contentment, a satisfaction, a time when my heart is filled to overflowing.
As a young mother with four children born in four years, my life was filled with a round of diapers, feeding/clothing little ones, learning to be a servant and giving my all to care for these gifts from God. I spent most days going from one task to another wearily. One day a visitor came, surveyed my household, and said 'these are the best years of your life'. I thought she was crazy and laughed. Now I know that it truly was contentment that I felt.... when my children were small. When they needed me, when I could feel their arms around my neck. I felt contentment and wonder when Tim patted my back as I patted his when we sat in the rocking chair. I felt contentment when I could kiss their hurts and make them well through the tears.
Now, when I hear my children's voices on the phone, with a Hi, Mom, or Anna calls me Mommy. That is my contentment. When I get an email from my children and grandchildren, I feel contentment.
In the quiet of our house,contentment comes as I switch off the light at the end of the day and thank God for no aches or pains and for the promise of no interruption from without in the middle of the night. Is security a form of contentment? Not necessarily.
Is it just when families are united and together that we know contentment and when we are not hungry and have shelter? Maybe, but there is only one way to have true contentment through sickness, through war, through unrest, through quarrels, through betrayls and all the ways that threaten to unseat our contentment.
When my Dad lay dying in the hospital, I was astonished that Mom planned to go home (across) the street and sleep. I asked her how she could sleep?
Proverbs 3:23-25 holds the answer: Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; don't for a minute lose sight of them. They'll keep your soul alive and well, they'll keep you fit and attractive. You'll travel safely, you'll neither tire nor trip. You'll take afternoon naps without a worry, you'll enjoy a good night's sleep. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday's just around the corner, Because God will be right there with you; he'll keep you safe and sound.
The Apostle Paul, in I Timothy 6:6 wrote, "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
That boundless joy comes with contentment in Christ Jesus, for he loves extravagantly. This comes from trusting completely our Lord, not a sit-back-and-let-it-happen, but a joyous worship and serving our Lord and Master. His Words are on our lips, and we begin to realize that we recognize the fruit of the spirit in our way of life -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control, against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Message phrases this scripture in this manner: But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.Does this make contentment a 'sit-back' quality, a lackadaisical life? No, far from it. For this is when our Creativity kicks in. That is when we determine how God wants us to serve Him, and ask Him to lead us daily to lift His Name on High. This is why our hands and our minds belong to him. We sing praises with our thoughts and with our heart every moment no matter where we are.
It is not simply peace or mere contentment that I want. It is the boundless joy and exstasy in following the path of service to our Lord Jesus.
The Great Creator created the heavens and the earth and He said, It is good. He was contented with His Work. We were made in His image and He told us - I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11
Being faithful, trusting, gentle, self-controlled, patient, peaceful, kind, the components of Contentment, will bring us to the greatest Contentment we can experience!
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Matthew 25:23
Mother (Anna Daisy Siemens) loved to write. I felt like I found a gold nugget of truth, just from her when I read:
Contentment Although I cannot fly, my own heart sings When living birds soar free on feathered wings; I am content to walk upon this earth To smell a rose or hear a chickadee Before I climb high slopes that test my worth And quietly rest upon a knoll to see When living birds soar free on feathered wings, Although I cannot fly, my own heart sings.The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Proverbs 19:23