Contentment for the Journey

I feel like I’m on a constant learning curve. Being born into a military family, then marrying a military man, my life has always been about change. At one duty station I learned several friends had never gone much outside of the county in which they were born. I simply cannot relate to that!

Sometimes I envy these people, particularly when I’m packing up boxes and preparing for yet another out-of-state move. But then I get to the new place and my adventurous spirit takes over. I truly love moving to places I’ve never been and staying long enough to figure out if I really like it.

You could reduce this to positive thinking or a good attitude, but it’s really much more than that. In the deepest parts of my heart, I strive to remember that God wants His best for me.

I keep in mind that before He formed me in the womb, He knew me (Jeremiah 1:5). I know that He has great plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and can do more than I can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). I believe with everything in me that He wants to direct my paths (Proverbs 3:5-6) and give me abundant life (John 10:10).

That doesn’t always mean that life is easy, or even what many would call good. But I remind myself that even in the midst of difficult circumstances, I’m still secure in His hand (John 10:28-29). He watches over me (Psalm 121), protects me (Psalm 141), and gives me sweet sleep (Proverbs 3:21-26).

With all of that going for me, how can I not respond when He calls? How can I not rejoice in each town He places me? Oh, I know how easy it is to not be content, to think of another state as better than your current residence, or to fear what the next move holds. But that is a trap.

Contentment is a choice of the will, not the heart. The Apostle Paul says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)

And so, on this newest section of my learning curve, I choose contentment. I recognize that sometimes I can only find it through the strength of the Lord, but Paul shows me that God is enough. If Paul learned to be content within his life of jails and beatings and shipwrecks, I can be content as I settle into yet another house in yet another new town.

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