When Contentment Feels Out of Reach

This morning, the news showed a video of a little girl at Disneyland waving in sheer joy at the sight of Donald Duck. She was awestruck, mesmerized, beaming with happiness over a man in a duck suit.

Meanwhile, I’m in a ball of frustration over a sweatshirt that shrunk in the wash, a missing Amazon package, and the more burdening fact that it's been six months and I’m still jobless in a new city.

As I’ve been reading through the book of Ecclesiastes, I’m reminded that there is a time, a season, and a place for everything. “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

These words weren’t new to me. However, as I kept reading, I got to chapter 9 verse 7 and read, “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.”

As I read those words, the idea of contentment came to mind. The kind of contentment that makes you grateful for big things like health and little things like coffee. The kind that enjoys a delicious, carb-rich meal with friends, guilt-free. The kind that jumps up and down for a man in a duck suit.

In reading those words, I realized that life isn’t always about getting what we want—it’s about learning to be content in spite of our changeable circumstances. Contentment that isn’t tied to what we get out of this world, but emerges out of the joy and hope we find in Christ. Contentment in the midst of disappointment, exhaustion, loneliness, or discouragement. Contentment that leads to thankfulness, joy, bigger smiles, and harder laughter.

As you look for contentment in your own life, I want to encourage you to remember that Jesus is better than the dream job, He’s brighter than the perfect spring day, He’s more exhilarating than the greatest adventure.

He has paid it all, granted us freedom, given us grace, lavished us in love and yet even still, our response to this inexpressible gift is often worrying, fighting, complaining, or rushing.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be found grumbling away the time God has given me. I want to be a reflection of the goodness, peace, joy, and love of God’s Kingdom. Christians don’t have to grumble through life until it looks the way we want it to be. We get to be the example of what it truly means to be joy-filled and purpose-driven right now.

Contentment isn’t always going to come naturally, but it’s worth pursuing each new day because He has given us “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading...” (1 Peter 1:4). Even in moments or seasons where it feels like life doesn’t have anything worth celebrating, Jesus alone is more than enough.

And if we really believed that, then followers of Christ should be the first ones to throw the party. We should be the ones with arms wide open, jumping, dancing, laughing and smiling. In the kitchen. In our cars. At the grocery store. In our cubicles. Not because life is easy, but because the One leading us through it all is a thousand times greater than even Donald Duck. And we not only get to wave, we get to walk hand in hand with Him.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain...” 1 Timothy 6:6

 

Ashley Abon

Ashley Abon is a California girl currently residing in Boston. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Graphic Design from Azusa Pacific University and is newly married to her best friend Babatunde. Her greatest joy is being a wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend. You can follow her on Instagram.

Join the discussion