When I got the reminder that my blog post was due soon I went into somewhat of a panic mode. Not because I dislike the writing or the process, but because I truly had no clue what I was going to write about. While attempting to come up with a topic, there did not seem to be anything extreme or super notable going on amidst my life right now. While I have been learning a lot lately, nothing really jumped out for me to share with you. I then realized this is because for the first time in a while, I am living in a season of contentment. And it feels really good to be here. We live in a society that constantly reminds us of how discontent we should be. There is always something “bigger and better,” so it is easy for us to overlook these places of contentment. Of course there are specific areas of my life that I am uncertain of right now and a lot of unknowns for the future, but for the most part my life feels still and peaceful. I am in a job of which I am so undeserving (but excited) to be a part of this year, surrounded by consistent and loving family and friends, pursued by an accepting and intentional community, enjoying a unique new city fresh for exploring, and have a really sweet place to go home to. What more could I ask for? Well, this world seems to tell me there are a lot more things that I could ask for, and some days my idols and earthly desires get the best of me and tell me the same. It is in these moments that I have to come back to the truth that Paul reminds us of through his own life.
Paul’s journey was so crazy, beautiful and messy, and I feel there are pieces of Paul’s story and journey that everyone can relate to. At this point in Paul’s journey he has experienced much suffering and many struggles of his own, but also boundless grace. He says in Philippians chapter 4 verse 12 , “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.” We have all known in some way what Paul is talking about. Whether that be through grieving a loss, celebrating a new life, financial burdens, a job promotion, broken homes, or beautiful friendships; somewhere along our journey we have already or will experience times of loss and plenty. The next thought he shares with us is what I believe is key. Paul says, “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 all this through him who gives me strength.” This encouragement and reminder of the strength we receive from our Heavenly Father is not just one to empower us and push us through any circumstance, but one that allows us to gratefully and joyfully sit in contentment on both the easy and the hard days. This is contentment we can not get from this world, but only by submitting to the fact that Christ is truly all we need. When we remember who Jesus is and the work He did for us on the cross - this is then the source of our joy and hope - and this is then where we will find pure contentment. Regardless of whatever this world tells us or asks of us, I pray that we find true contentment right where Paul did while he was sitting in prison, in Christ and Christ alone.