I’ve been trying to find the right words to articulate into this post for a good bit of time now, because this has been something that has been a struggle for me this past year and I wanted to write it right. Surprisingly, after praying and studying on it, the Lord just kind of gave me these thoughts and words I’m writing now on a very stressful day and time! (It’s funny how that works sometimes!)
If I’m being honest, there’s been a lot of great opportunities I’ve had this year that I’m very thankful for as well as many fun and happy times within 2017. I’m not going to lie though; there have been some real disappointments and an abundance of stress along with it too. (Good stress is still stress!!See this post!) If I had everything I wanted, I’d be in a job closer to my major, at USF already, and have enough time to balance fun and extra curricular activities at the same time. At this season of my life, that’s not really something I can do given my education level and the workload I have to take in order to finish everything at the time I want. So, even when I feel like this season is coming to an end, sometimes I still get discouraged and tired (coffee has been one of my best friends for about a year and a half now).
I find myself asking, “Why is this all happening right now? Why can’t I just be done? What is the point of X or Y happening if what I want looks like it would be pleasing to God?” From what I’ve been seeing lately in my Bible Study and personal life, is that I don’t need to necessarily know all the answers, all I need to know is that God has called me along with everybody else to be the salt and light of the world. So, instead of asking “Why this?” or “Why that?” I should be asking, “How can I use this to benefit the Glory of God?” There’s a reason for every season of our life.
What does this all have to do with finding contentment? I know in life, it’s not always going to be sprinkles and rainbows. Also, contentment doesn’t mean that you’re freakishly happy about everything in life, even if it straight up sucks sometimes! Contentment is about praising God through your tension, stress, and struggles. I find that sometimes that we (including myself!) turn to physical things, people, materials, food, to find happiness and fulfillment and that’s never going to fill you up like Jesus can. I’m not saying that my life currently is anywhere near as unfortunate as Job’s, but that book of the Bible has been a great comfort to me this year whenever I have felt overwhelmed, stressed, or disappointed, especially when Job says in verses 1:20-22, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job had it bad. These verses are a reminder to me that in my situations that are really trivial in comparison, I know I can still find joy in the small things and trust in the Lord’s perfect timing and plan for my life. He’s got us! The Lord rewards those who love and seek him first, and I’ve seen that in my life and through those around me. Focusing on him in the stressful times I’ve found brings me more peace and happiness than focusing on things that I can’t control.
One of my pastors has always said, “bloom where you are planted.” To me, one of the best ways to do that is to find solace in the Lord. I know first hand that is not easy all the time. I don’t know if any of you have been struggling with this lately, but it’s definitely something that’s been on my heart for a while now. At times, we’re planted between cracks in the concrete, but the Lord has a purpose for that. When I read Psalms 145 where David writes in verse 14 stating that, “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those beneath their loads,” that is an encouragement to me and I hope that is an encouragement to you. For those who love the Lord and walk in his path, he will be there every step of the way. No matter how busy it gets, or how hard life seems sometimes, he’s perfect in his timing and the struggles you’re going through now will help you and those around you “bloom” in life.
Have any of you been walking through this? What’s your favorite verse on contentment? Let me know in the comments and if you liked this post!