I have learned how to be content. Philippians 4:11 AMPC.
I challenged God to give me a word or a verse for this year and I felt like He kept putting this idea of being content on my heart. However, I struggled with it because of all the things that I can so easily look at which are grounds for being DIScontent.
Then, as the Holy Spirit is apt to do, He reminded me of this verse tucked in Philippians 4, spoken by one of the most resilient men in church history –the Apostle Paul. He was one who also had to LEARN how to be content. As I look forward on this year, learning seems a lot more manageable than actually being content. Learning needs, however, has to have an objective and thus I began my study.
I looked up the Greek translation for the English word for “content.” It’s a rather strange definition. It has this idea of guarding something or raising a wall around something. I looked it up in the Websters 1828 dictionary which conveys the idea of holding on to something with an overarching idea of the holding being a source of quietness.
The only image I could conjure for this was a child being held by his parent. Here, there is a guarding; a safety; a holding on. However, there’s something that’s deeper in that. The child has to grow to the point that he no longer needs to hold on physically but LEARNS how to mentally hold on to his parent so a simple look or word will suffice. He, in effect, learns to guard his own insecurities and fears with the knowledge and assurance he is loved and safe.
This is where contentment lies: being assured of what God has done and is doing because of His heart beating steadily on– in deep loving affection for us, regardless of what fears or insecurities or struggles bubble up in us. It must be learned, however. Practiced. Reiterated. Held on to.
In conclusion, it is not a passive thing (like I might have thought), but it is active. It is a purposeful holding on to what I know to be true despite my circumstances. It is the fruit of a quiet, undisturbed soul. Here’s to learning, holding on, and finding myself quieted after all.