Growing up, my family would embark on the occasional road trip. Often, we were going someplace far, and it would seem like we were on the road forever. These road trips remind me a lot of what it means to be content. I liken contentment to being an actual highway. Sometimes, we try to make contentment a destination we are trying to reach, but **spoiler alert** if contentment is a destination, it becomes something we are always seeking but never reaching—an unattainable destination. No, I believe contentment is best described as an interstate highway because we can choose to merge onto contentment or exit it throughout this journey called life. It requires a conscious decision to enter and exit Contentment Highway.
Paul said in the Amplified Version of Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances.” Notice Paul stated he learned “to be” content. We can be content or not be content. We can merge onto Contentment Highway and stay there or we can choose exit and stay off. The choice is ours. Throughout the New Testament, the word content means:
Sufficient for one’s self, strong enough or possessing enough to need no aid or support.
Independent of external circumstances.
On our family road trips we had 4 types of stops. These same stops occur along Contentment Highway throughout life. Let’s look at how to navigate each of these stops to assure we live our lives being content.
Gas stops are important stops to make. It is vital for us to fuel up and continue to refuel as needed in order to remain content. Running out of gas is no fun. It leaves us stranded, frustrated, and vulnerable to attacks and accidents. It costs us precious time and causes us to expend energy and resources we could have applied more efficiently elsewhere. Our heavenly Father has given us the ultimate tool for refueling—His Word. Our daily journey needs to consist of gas stops where we fill up on God’s Word and communicate with Him.
Another thing we will need to do in order to remain content is to rest. Again, Paul said he “learned to be content”. He learned from the Word, from others, and from life. One of the most pivotal moments in my life occurred when I realized the state of me being content [cun-tent] can be greatly influenced by the content [con-tent] I consume on a daily basis. During our rest stops, we must take a break from media and other influences that feed our emotions. As women, we need to guard our hearts and rest from content that will seek to stop us from being content. It is also important for us to rest physically. When we don’t rest, we too are susceptible to crashing, thus creating ruin in our lives and those arounds us.
Also, as women, it’s important to recognize that sometimes we just need a break. Our bodies and minds are complex; they simultaneously perform multiple functions and rest is essential to them functioning properly. More often than not, I find myself taking a mental rest, where I’ve decided not to think about everything I have to get done. It is essential for me to do this in order to stay on Contentment Highway.
Food stops are equally important. As women, we won’t stay content if we’re hungry. When I don’t eat, I become irritable and inconsolable—also knowns as hangry! Can I get a witness? Both spiritual food and natural food is important. Also, one great thing about food stops is that we can do these when we’re stopping for gas or stopping to rest.
Finally, the last stop is one we never want to have to make—emergency stops. When we make time to schedule the first three stops, this can help us to avoid some emergency stops. Through prayer, we’ll be notified of situations we need to check out and also circumstances will be made to turn for our good. Through prayer, we will learn to be content in all things.
The enemy wants us to live in the valley of misery and discontentment, where we will never be satisfied. However, when we have learned to be content in every situation, we will be stable and filled with God’s peace during even the most pressing situations.
There’s plenty of room for all of God’s BeYouties on Contentment Highway. God loves us so much and wants us to be content!
- Amina Cameron
God's BeYOUties BookClub is down to its last book for the year, Healing the Soul of a Woman by Joyce Meyer. You don't want to miss the discussion on December 3rd. There will be plenty to talk about! You can participate solo or with a Small Group...just pick up the book and start reading. Go to godsbeyouties.com for all your BookClub information!