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Resisting Discontentment

How quickly we forget.  Or so it has been said and, sadly, it seems to be true with my own brain.  I used to be rather proud of my memory – seemingly never needing a list, a reminder or any sort of prompt to remember anything.  These days, I have to write down my middle name just so I don’t forget it.  Which only works if I can remember where I wrote it down!  In all seriousness, we do tend to forget. Even “the big” things.  The life-changing things.  (My children remind me of this often!)  And, if we do remember the event, it is almost for certain that the details become fuzzier as the years go by.  Sometimes…it only takes months.  Or just weeks.

Do you remember the first days of quarantine?  Or perhaps those last days just before you were locked down?  There was some apprehension, but for the most part, there seemed to be a distinct feeling of hope and even excitement.  People seemed willing to do whatever it would take to stop this virus and, as well, were ready for a change.  Everyone was eager to see how God would work and just as ready to make the most of their days at home and the extra time with their families.

It really did not take long for those feelings to be replaced with anxiety.  The reality of extended weeks of quarantine and the effects it created began to impact our moods.  It was noticeable in the news, in social media, in conversations and even in preaching.  The reminders that God was still in control (which He is) were not being repeated nearly as often.

And, today?  The mood seems dominated by complaining, grumbling, whining, accusing and even anger.  Have you noticed it? I have. I have seen it in the stores.  I’ve read it – both blatantly and between the lines – and I’ve heard it.  What happened to the hope and anticipation of just a few weeks ago?  To be sure, there are many who are trying to remain positive.  To not only be encouraged but to be encouragers.  And I am so grateful for those.  I try to seek out those people.  Otherwise, if I’m honest, I can find myself becoming discontent.

Contentment has been defined as “the state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are.”  As they are.  Not simply satisfied with what you have or possess, but with things (situations and circumstances) as they are.  That would include being satisfied – happy and at peace – with long days at home.  Without fully occupied schedules.  Content without control over our situation.

I recently read that being discontent with our present situation was to be expected.  I suppose that implied even acceptable.  However, that is not what God’s word says.  We are told to be content.  We are told not to worry – to fret and obsess – over the things of this life.  Instead, we are to trust and have confidence in God.  We are to be grateful. We are to remember and rehearse God’s goodness, kindness and faithfulness.  Share how God is meeting your needs during these challenging days.  Tell someone how good He has been and just one of the blessings He has given over the last few weeks!  It is the antidote to discontentment.

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  I Peter 5:6-7

9 thoughts on “Resisting Discontentment

  1. It is hard to be content in circumstances like this, but I think realising we’re not in control as much as we’d like to be can definitely drive us to God and encourage us to seek our contentment in him and to trust him. This is a good challenge to work on keeping that mindset.

  2. Jennifer, I appreciate your words. Contentment is a constant choice. When I begin to feel the blahs (as I did yesterday), I have to shift my focus back to the Lord. It’s not always easy, but I’m working on it. For the most part, I love being with my boys. We’re finding our at-home groove, and we’re all adapting. God is meeting my needs with glimpses of His beauty and with daily reminders that He’s holding us. And, having texting, Zoom, and MarcoPolo has helped too.

    1. Jeanne, thank you so much for your comment. So glad that I am not the only one fighting off blahs!! Taking my thoughts captive…shifting my focus back where it belongs…keeping my emotions submitted and in check. It is all helpful – and necessary. Glad you are finding your groove:) Hope you have a peace-filled week ahead!

  3. Jennifer, hi!

    writing and speaking what we’re grateful for, even in the midst of the crazyness, is surely a helpful recalibration.

    staying away from newscasts helps, too.

    focusing on how God hasn’t changed one single bit is the greatest joy.

  4. You described the weeks of quarantine very well. I admit there was a sense of excitement in the beginning and I believed I would survive just fine. A week later and my emotions were dipping as well as my outlook. Thank goodness for a God who knows this about us and still loves us anyway. I pray I feel contentment in the present moment because God is in the moment with me.

  5. Hey there~I found you through a comment on my blog, Overflowing With Thanksgiving. Thank you for leaving a comment on mine! And thank you for this beautiful post and reminder to seek out those who encourage and to BE an encourager. That is one of my top spiritual gifts, so that really stuck out to me. I try to be that on my blog everyday of normal life, but especially during these times. I use the same guideline in my social media accounts on Instagram (JenLloydGoodwin) and Facebook. So many do not do that, and for my own sanity, I’ve had to unfollow several friends on FB, because I couldn’t take the anxiety it was causing. Mine came at the beginning of all this, but subsided pretty quickly, for which I am thankful. We will soon look back on these days and miss them, don’t you think? My kids are all practically grown as well, and we needed this time to slow down and catch up with one another, as we were all like ships passing in the night. I look forward to reading more of your posts! I added you to my “blog roll” so that I can keep up regularly. God bless you and yours.

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