Philippians 4:11-13, KJV
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
What makes you feel content? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, content is defined as: Pleased and satisfied, not needing more. To me, some little things that are satisfying are a perfectly prepared loaf of bread, made after hours of hard work. Not only does this bread look and smell amazing, it is delicious as well. Another is a well-organized box of crayons (sorted by color). Another is a day where I can spend the whole day binge watching my favorite TV show in my PJ’s, or a whole day spending quality time with my husband.
These are all little things, temporary things, that can brighten my day—but what about being content in situations that these little things can’t fix? What about seasons of grief, how do you be content in the midst of a sudden loss of a loved one? Grief often is something we try to move past quickly, because it is far from pleasing or satisfying. Sure, it may be satisfying at the loss of a senior saint, because they lived a long and full life, and are destined for eternity. You may even be at peace after someone passed after a lengthy sickness, because their pain is over. But how do you be content when you lose a child?
This is something my husband and I have had to face head on in the wake of the spontaneous miscarriage of our daughter, Leia Song, who passed away at 6 weeks gestation and was delivered at around 13 weeks gestation. Yes, do the math and ask yourself the same questions I was asking: How am I to be content when I am forced to be a walking tomb for seven weeks? How is this God’s will? Why would a merciful God do this to someone who has been faithfully serving Him? Why did I have to go into labor and have my baby cremated? Why? These are all questions I have as I grieve. Yet, I know where to find these answers by clinging to God’s word. So I opened my bible and read
“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4, KJV)
What! How is grief a good thing? It’s ugly and painful, it’s far from the definition of content. It is something that I want to get over and deal with quickly. But, I am reminded again that there is a time and a place for everything, and that life has many seasons. And throughout this current season of my life, God is reminding me to not rush through these seasons. I am reminded that every season—even grief—has a purpose and a lesson to be gained. That growth happens in every season, and rushing through a season will cause stunted growth.
So, whatever season you are in, learn to be content through every heartbreaking step. Remember that the Lord promised to comfort those who mourn, and be near the broken hearted. He promises that the joy will come in the morning, but don’t try to rush through the night. Like the Psalmist, find your hope in His word, “My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word. My eyes fail from searching Your word, Saying, “When will You comfort me?” (Psalm 119:81-82, KJV)
In seasons of grief, your soul will be faint and your flesh will fail at times. Keep searching His word, rest in His promises, and you will find contentment and comfort in His arms. He will be your strength through every season, no matter the pain it may bring.
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