Chronic pain

The Secret to Contentment

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photo credit: spodzone via photopin cc

Thanks to one of my friends from my real moms group, I had the opportunity today to strategically place scripture throughout my house.  I decided to put the following verse in front of my kitchen sink, where I spend A LOT of time during the day.

Philippians 4:11-13

“,,,for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Hours later, I decided to make a smoothie with protein powder which I haven’t done since I was working out on a regular basis.  As I was cleaning out the blender, the smell of the protein powder took me back to the days I was training for a triathlon –  I was working out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week and this protein powder was a regular staple in my diet.  Almost immediately upon smelling the smoothie, I found myself longing for what was.

With the holidays quickly approaching, I wondered if lots of us struggle to cherish what is in front of us and find ourselves longing for what was or what could be.  There seems to be an underlying expectation that the holidays will be and should be the best time of the year.  We seem to all be striving to make everything perfect.

But I think the more we strive for perfection, the more we realize what or who is missing: a big enough house, a loved one who passed away, a non dysfunctional family, a spouse, a lost relationship, a loss in our physical ability, enough money, etc.

After I cleaned out the blender, I realized that my heart is really aching for my mom to be joining us for Thanksgiving. It has been almost 9 years since my mom sat at our Thanksgiving table and I find myself longing to see her once again.

But as I was staring at this passage of Scripture above my kitchen sink, my heart was encouraged. Paul states that he knows “the secret of being content in any and every situation…“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”  Contentment can only come through a daily dependence on Christ for everything.

Unfortunately we live in a fallen world and we all have or are experiencing some sort of loss or pain that is likely magnified during the holiday season.  But as we depend on Christ in the midst of our circumstance, He will give us the strength to endure and the ability to find joy and contentment.  Dottie Connor Bingham the creator of Gracestoraiton states:

“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what we want,
but the realization of what we have.”

When we focus of what we have, we are drawn back to our Creator. And when we gaze on Him, we are reminded that He never changes even when our circumstances do.

So as we head into this holiday season, let’s look up and gaze on our Savior as we are reminded of what was or what could be.  He is with us here and now and He is our only source of stability and contentment.

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