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Contentment and the Lack Thereof

Today was a bad day. My head hurt all day - almost a migraine, but not quite. I had terrible pelvic cramping, which I haven't had in a year and half, since my endometrial ablation. I just felt awful and got very little done.

I got to thinking about contentment. Mostly because I don't have much at the moment. Our pastor spoke about contentment and Philippians 4 yesterday. If you haven't read that chapter of the Bible lately, you really should. It's got lots of good stuff.

I spent the first year or two after I had to quit working (because of chronic migraine) in Lamentations and the Psalms of lament. (I grew up Evangelical. I didn't know we were allowed to be unhappy. It took me a long time to learn to lament and still love God.) But, the next couple of years were spent learning to be content, which meant a lot of time in Philippians 4 and James 1.

Paul had to learn to live with very little and even with being in prison. I had to learn to live without my career. In a lot of ways, I have it easy. But, I don't want to minimize the fact that I did have to learn some lessons. I was no longer working in a fulfilling career. I was/am in chronic pain. I had to learn to depend on God and other people, something that took some work for a generally independent person like me.

Dallas Willard once said, "It is spiritually formative to be dissatisfied and unable to resolve it." This is true. And it's where I was today. I was/is in pain that I couldn't fix. My only road to contentment is through Jesus.

Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7 "6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Notice that he doesn't promise that God will immediately grant what we pray for. He says that God will give us peace. And that peace is what leads to contentment.

I still feel rotten. I'm still "dissatisfied and unable to resolve it". (Don't worry, I'm working with my doctors on the pain issue. I'm not a masochist.) But, tonight, I'm doing better with the contentment thing. Walking with Jesus makes life go better.

Where are you tonight? Are you content? Are you walking with Jesus? Are you "dissatisfied and unable to resolve it?" Whatever it is, God loves you and wants to help you. If you have questions, I'm happy to talk to you. Just contact me.


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