I cleaned out my file cabinet last week and found some writing I had done in the early nineties. I wrote this piece as an almost 23 year old in 1990. I had been married for just a year. Brent and I were helping with the high school youth group at church, and I wrote this piece for their newsletter. I guess they thought I was old and wise.
The neat thing about revisiting a much younger version of myself is that I can see how God has grown me from this point in my walk with Him. I used to struggle greatly with contentment and worry—now, not so much—in fact, I might say that contentment is now one of my (God-given) strengths. Super cool! As I have walked with God these last 21 or so years, I have fallen more and more in love with Him and learned to trust Him with myself. He’s still got lots of work to do on me, and I am definitely still a “diamond in the rough”, but someday I will be exactly as He intends me to be. And He won’t stop ‘till he’s done!
That, my friend, is exciting!
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
con·tent·ment : [kuhn-tent-muhnt] : noun 1. To be content; primarily signifies to be sufficient, to be possessed of sufficient strength; 2. To be satisfied, “contentment with such things as ye have.”
In Philippians 4:11, the apostle Paul states, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” What an accomplishment! I say this because, for me, contentment does not come easily. God is still teaching me how to “be satisfied” with who I am, what I have, and where I am in life. Here is what I’ve learned:
God wants me to enjoy life NOW! I tend to look back to “the good old days” and say “if only it was like that again…” or forward to the future with the mindset of “I’ll finally be truly happy when…I’m 18; I’m in college; I’m married; I have a job; we have a family; etc.” When I reach these future milestones, I don’t find contentment; I only continue to yearn for the next milestone—always looking ahead. But God says, “Tori, don’t be discontented by constantly reliving the past or by looking forward to the future! Live life NOW—today! ‘For I came that you might have life, and have it to the full,’” (John 10:10). Abundant life. Life today—not yesterday or tomorrow. Be content.
God also want s me to stop worrying. Worrying is Satan’s way of stealing the Christian’s trust and contentment in the Lord. I tend to spend lots of time worrying about what I think should be happening—i.e. “I think I should have found a job by now”. But God says that HE knows what should be going on, and He will decide what is best for me. All of my worrying is benefitting no one. God is in control, for He says “Trust in [Me] with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways acknowledge [Me], and [I] will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). It also helps me to review Matthew 6:25-33 (the “Do not worry” passage) regularly. That passage tells me that tomorrow will take care of itself whether I worry about it or not. So, why worry? God’s got it covered. Be content.
Be content. God said it. I’m going to do it. And because “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6), I will be forever rich!
Enjoy life now. Don’t worry. Be content. And be happy.