THE MYSTERY OF CONTENTMENT

By Lisa Huddleston

I am shocked to be writing this post.  Contentment is not a familiar topic for me.  Yes, like Paul, I have made it my ambition to learn how to be “content in every situation” (Phil 4:11).  However, the difference is that Paul managed to actually do it, and I never have.

In fact, I have always been quite far from content.  I’ve struggled with nearly everything.  Injustice.  Poverty.  Suffering.  Meaning.  How can I be content when the world is such a mess?  When I am not making a difference?  When little seems to matter?

Yet, I have tried.  I’ve read great spiritual books.  I’ve written anguished, pleading prayers.  I’ve studied, and I’ve sought.  But, never have I felt real peace.

Many times I have cried, “Why isn’t Christ enough?”  I know that He should be.  I know that He is.  Yet, He isn’t—or at least He hasn’t been to me.  How can that be?  It clearly can’t if Christ is Christ.  And so I’ve clawed through the days of discontent barely scratching the shiny surface of the simplicity of truth.  If I couldn’t understand it, then it plainly could not be.

But it is.  Truth is seeping into my walls, and I feel the foundational shift.  I can’t control it.  I am becoming content.  Dare I say, “I am content”?

Go figure.  All this time I have tried so hard.  And now I’m not even trying at all.  Is that the magic?  Can I now tell all of you who are still striving that the secret is to give up?

No.  I don’t know the secret.  If it were about me and what I do, then I think I would have found it years ago.  It is not about doing or even about not doing.

Forgive the terrible cliché—but it really may be about being.  And what has changed so that I can now be when before I could only do?  I don’t know.  I really do wish I could tell you.  I know that you long for the answer as I have.  But I do not know.

I do know that I grew very weary of striving.  I lost concern about achievement that others could praise.  It no longer mattered if I had an important job with a title and a big paycheck—or a paycheck at all.  Past tense.  He began a great work in me, and He is finishing it–that is all I know.

So, today, I am content.  Satisfied to serve, to be, to live.  I volunteer, write, visit, listen, feed, and love.  I am served, read, heard, fed, and loved more than I deserve.  And it is good.

Today, my life is sweet.  I am satisfied with Jesus.  What a mystery!

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2 thoughts on “THE MYSTERY OF CONTENTMENT

  1. Josh McCausland says:

    This was great. I feel I find myself struggling through this as well. Why isn’t HE enough and why do I feel like I need things to feel content. I really enjoy these entries of yours.

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