What is Contentment?

I’ve been living in a state of limbo for some time now.

In previous posts, I’ve talked through job loss and the struggle in waiting for that next something to come along. I have the prospect of an opportunity that I’m supposed to get an definitive answer on any day now. It has been a long waiting process that has given me a chance to wrestle through some things with God.

Like contentment.

At the start of this year, I told you guys that was what I wanted to seek this year; godliness and contentment. Shortly after that, I was laid off from my dream internship, turned down for a couple promotions, and left in this state of waiting and hoping.

So how is one supposed to be content when nothing seems to be right. When you’re not happy. When you’re not satisfied. For some reason, this is what I believed contentment to be. Happiness. Satisfaction. And if not those things, fooling yourself into believing you were those things.

What on earth is contentment if not satisfaction and happiness?

This was the question on my heart. If I was supposed to be content, why wasn’t I able to make myself comfortable with where God had placed me?

I ran across a quote from Sinclair Ferguson that helped me wade through my confusion.

Christian contentment…is the direct fruit of having no higher ambition than to belong to the Lord and to be totally at his disposal in the place He appoints, at the time He chooses, with the provision He is pleased to make.

That was it. Contentment was my calling. Contentment was what was supposed to come from trusting where God had me for the length he had me there. It wasn’t happiness. It wasn’t satisfaction. It was trust. Trust that this was the destination for now. Trusting that it was the best place for me in this season.

It is so hard when we are not in the place we thought we would be at this point in life. There is so much ambiguity in this post-grad, pre-whatever stage. I have a hunch that there is a whole lot of ambiguity in live in general.

And it’s not fun and it’s not easy, but it it good. It is good to realize you are not in control. It is good to realize that you must rely on something bigger than yourself. It is good to seek contentment when it seems like the farthest thing from your grasp.

So it’s been two months of waiting to see if this job opportunity will come to fruition. And yes, I want it to come to fruition. But I know I will be okay if it does not. God has a plan. He will place me where I need to be and not a moment before I need to be there.

And I am surprised to say that that is something I can be content with.

Is there an area of your life where you haven’t been seeking contentment? Have you been struggling with the meaning of that word?

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