"I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am."
Philippians 4: 11, Amplified Bible
"The Life of Contentment"
"Contentment" - Satisfied. Ease of mind.
Am I "contented" with the guiding hand of God in my life?
"I am always "content" with what happens; for I know that what God chooses is better than what I chose."
"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I am in, therein to be content."
The quotation above was written by one of my heroes, Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf. Doesn't it take you back a moment to read words she wrote that say there is wonder in darkness -her blindness. There is wonder in silence - her deafness? To be quite truthful, as I look out my window today at the pine trees and hear the wind blowing through them, I find it difficult, no - to be completely honest - I find it impossible to think that if I were blind and deaf and could neither see the beauty nor hear any sounds, that like dear Helen Keller, I would be writing to tell you how "content" I was.
In the last two devotionals we reflected on patience - a quality I desire but often find myself running low on. But, from personal experience I can tell you that as God works on helping me develop patience in my life, He is also at work instilling courage in my heart. And it was courage we studied about yesterday.
Once we are willing to be patient with God's rulership in our lives and once God has filled our hearts with a reservoir of His courage, a very unique thing happens - a flower blooms in the garden of our lives. Not by accident, although we will not even know it was planted. This flower blooms as a direct result of letting God lead -- and following not only his path but the time He has set for the plan of our lives to develop. The blossom is "contentment!"
As I have studied the lives of great women in the Bible, I have found one often overlooked woman, whom I believe exemplifies the quality of contentment throughout her entire life. The woman's name was Zipporah and she was the daughter of the Priest of Midian and became Moses' wife.
A quick review of the women in Moses' family shows that his mother, Jochebed, was a woman of great courage and his sister, Miriam, was no shrinking violet, either. Furthermore, Pharaoh's daughter, who took the baby Moses into the palace as her own child was also a daring, strong woman. Moses was used to having bold women of strength in his life. It is not surprising he married a woman of great courage and strength but also a woman who taught Moses something about contentment.
When Moses fled from Egypt, he did so because his impatience with the timetable God laid out got him into serious trouble for he murdered an Egyptian who was brutalizing an Israelite. Moses, obviously, was not a man content with the how and when of God's guiding hand. But we read in Exodus 2: 21, that Moses, after fleeing to the land of Midian, was "'content' to dwell with Jethro," his father-in-law and Zipporah, Jethro's daughter who became his wife.
I asked myself, what made the difference? The only thing different was that Moses married Zipporah. Over the next few years, we get a glimpse into the character of this woman. After living, "contentedly" in Midian for 40 years, God came to Moses with a huge request. Moses was to return to Egypt to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. Zipporah could have thrown a fit. Told Moses not to leave or whined and pouted. Instead, she was content to stay where God asked her to until the time at Sinai, when she was finally reunited with her husband. I asked myself how contented I would have been if my husband took off for several years and I had no idea when or where I'd see him again. Rather than complain, Zipporah was content with God's guidance. I pray I will learn the lesson of contentment from this strong, brave woman, too.
"Then be content poor heart!
God's plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold;
We must not tear the close-shut leaves, apart
Time will reveal the calyxes of gold."
Mary Louise Riley Smith
"Dear Father God,
I believe that I am where I am because You have put me here. Help me to stay here and work for You, until You make clear that You want me to be somewhere else."
"Whatever comes, let's be content withal
Among God's blessings there is no one small."
Welcome What Comes
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.