You complete the sentence. If only my mom was in better health. If only I wasn’t drowning in housework. If only I could get a job that paid me what I’m worth. If only I could get rid of these constant headaches. If only I could get married, buy a car, own my house.
Then I’d be happy. Complete. Content.
But that’s not how things work. In God’s economy, contentment is learned. In Philippians 4:11, Paul writes:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need…
Paul learned to be content in lowness. How? By being brought low.
He knew how to be content when he was rolling in the Benjamin’s. How? By facing plenty and abundance.
Paul wasn’t simply a hyper mellow guy. In each unique set of circumstances, God taught Paul how to be content.
The truth is, true contentment can’t be gained any other way. It must be learned. In headaches and housework. In boom and bust. In singleness and marriage. The Lord desires to teach us contentment in every season and circumstance.
Thomas Watson puts it this way:
The motion of the soul heavenward is a violent motion; it must therefore be learned.
Where do you find yourself saying, “If only…”? Consider changing your words to, “Lord teach me.”
+photo by JB photographer