Did you know that in the midst of chaos and crisis, we could be content in the midst of it? No matter the circumstances, we can have a smile on our face and joy deep down in our hearts.
CONTENT - adj - a state of peaceful happiness
- verb - satisfy (someone)
- noun - a state of satisfaction
I am convinced that in a world full of self-gratification, instant solutions, and multiple choices, it is tough to even grasp that contentment is possible if we don't always have life our way.
I can recall a time in my life when I didn't have transportation. I was separated from my ex-husband and he came to get his car back. Guess what I had to do? Take the bus. I had never really taken the bus before. Growing up, there was always someone to give us a ride or moms had her car. Honestly, I am surprised that I made it through that season lol. I mean you know, buses aren't "ideal" because as people say: they're dirty, homeless people use them, "weirdos" ride the bus. But God is sooo good. I took it and was at least grateful. I HAD A RIDE TO WORK!
I would plug my headphones in everyday and play gospel music. It literally kept me lifted and high in the midst of my season. There are a few songs that bring me to tears today because I remember replaying them to keep my mind and tongue in a state of gratitude. I will share them with you: Trip Lee - Sweet Victory , Sevin- Everything , Benjah - Never Quit , just to name the top three!
It was tough! I worked at a Bank of America vault in downtown Nashville at the time and we had an irregular schedule. I would go in as early as 9am and wouldn't leave til about 7pm and sometimes later! The worst days were when the weather wasn't on my side. I had to take the bus in the rain, snow, storms, etc. I didn't have an option like everyone else, except a few times my coworker would give me a lift. And to add, the bus didn't take me to church. :( But I had joy down in my soul despite my circumstances! By God's grace the bus route was a straight shot, the bus stop was right across the street from my apartments and there was one right in front of my job. This was a plus for me because I'm a 'PYT' and I don't need to be walking all by lonesome when I had to leave work late. Oh yea, the pettiest thing happened too, the bus driver left me while I was walking to the door!!! I knew she was a pretty uptight lady, but c'mooonn, she was purposely petty that day. The next day she told me that I shouldn't have been looking at my phone.......... Man I wanted to &*%$# words I shouldn't say lol.
After a few months, my ex-husband came to Nashville to purchase a cash car for me, thank God. And it ended up breaking down after a month :( At this time in my season, I was struggling to remain content but God still provided for me. I had a new job with a better schedule and a few coworkers pitched in to help me get back and forth since the bus route wasn't possible for my new job. And then God made a way for me to get my first car! I always wanted a coupe, and it's blue, my favorite color.... well the papers say it's green but it's blue to me! lol blue-green is a color right?
There is no formula for being content, as God deals with each of us differently, but I will point out what helped me in these tough seasons:
Reading what the Word of God says about contentment. Philippians 4:11-12, Hebrews 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Matthew 6
Listening to Gospel music. We need to be mindful of what we're feeding our brains and what is internalizing inside of our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says out of our hearts flow the issues of our lives and then Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 15:18 that the words we speak all come from our heart and they are what defile us.
Writing down things you are thankful for. At work I would use the sticky notes application to post a note on my desktop with 10 Things I was thankful for. This really helped because every time I used my computer (which was all day) I would see it and it helped me not to complain on the job. Below is a photo I snapped before I quit, I knew it could minister to someone out there.
Can you think of 10 things you are thankful for? Post your TOP 3 in the comments and I challenge you to use sticky notes to pin the rest :)