" I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. "
How many of us can truly say that and mean it? How many of us struggle to be content? Usually, most of us want more of something.
Maybe more money.
Maybe more things.
Maybe more in a relationship.
Maybe more from a job.
Maybe more friends.
Let me be honest: I often want more in some area of life. I'll raise my hand on that one and tell you I struggle to be content. But, as I have evaluated this, I have learned that the moments I am most struggling to be content are the moments I am most trying to be in control. And most of the time, what I am trying to control, is not for me to do so.
This is a painfully long lesson to learn, but the more I walk through it, the better I am able to see what my ever-patient God is trying to teach my very stubborn self.
Alexander Graham Bell said "When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
We often times are trying to control some sort of circumstance or person or outcome, that when it doesn't go our way, that's all we see rather than seeing what opportunity could lie ahead or perhaps what lesson we can learn from not reaching the desired outcome.
Letting go of control is hard. Being content in life is a challenge.
Not if, but when, I put my focus in the right areas, contentment is more easily found.
Let go and let God... easier said than done, but when followed, peace and contentment are found.Because I am not trying to be the master of my own plan.
What happens when I replace trying to control life with the godly principles of allowing His plan to lend me contentment?
I become far more grateful. I see the positives instead of the negatives. I am truly thankful for what I do have, rather than what I don't. That closed door becomes a blessing rather than a frustration.
I am joyful. Because it no longer become about me. It's about Him, and His plan for me. His Word says in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans He has for me, to prosper and not to harm... why in the world would I even want to take control and try to say or imply that my plan is better? Being content in His plan is better than trying to control my own. That only lands me in lessons full of pain.
I learn to live above life's circumstances. Why? Because ultimately, it doesn't matter what I try to do, life is going to have tough days and hard times. Trying to control those doesn't change the outcome. But learning to be content in them does. Learning to be content helps me live above the circumstance.
I learn to rest in God's providence. When I trust in Him, He lets all circumstances unfold for His good. When I try to control, those things may not turn out as well. Relinquishing control leads me to resting in His providence. The best place to be.
I cannot control others, but I can control my own responses and actions and attitude. It takes much practice, but contentment is possible- gratitude can be found in every scenario.
The more I let go of control, the more contentment I find. Because as Paul said, whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
Because who I am, who He is shaping me to be through these circumstances and experiences, is beautiful when I relinquish the control and truly be the me He is designing.
One day at a time.