missionary life

Relearning Contentment

Our front door decorated for Fall
Our front door decorated for Fall

Hopefully I am not the only one that needs to have more than one lesson to learn what God wants to do in my heart. One would have thought learning contentment as we adjusted to life in South Africa would have been enough. But no, I need  another lesson three years later upon our return to the states.

A few days ago I was complaining:


“I don’t like the flowers all over this couch.”

“It is so dark in here I miss all the windows I had in the other house.”

“This mattress is nothing like our other mattress.”

Suddenly the Lord convicted me as I looked around the apartment and realized there was not one thing we were lacking. The Lord has provided and continues to provide for our needs and even some wants. A tea kettle and drying rack were on the list in my purse as we stopped at a friend’s house. Guess what? The friend asked if we could use a tea kettle and oh, did we need a drying rack. I just thanked her and said she wouldn’t believe it but those exact things were on my list. At another friend’s house I was eyeing this hamper in her garage that was also on my list. I wondered if I should ask her about it. I didn’t have to ask she was already offering it to me before I could.

DSCF0289 (800x533)
My reminder to be content

A friend once encouraged with me the words of missionary Jim Elliot: Be where you are. After more than a month I have embraced that thought. I can’t continue looking back and I don’t have a clue what the future holds so I must live in the here and now.

The Holman Bible Dictionary defines contentment as an internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances. That internal satisfaction comes from Christ. When I am discontent, I am looking to other things or people to satisfy my desires.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. -Matthew 5:6

When I hunger and thirst for more of Christ instead of the things of the world then and only then will I be truly satisfied.

Lord, help me to be content in You alone.

4 thoughts on “Relearning Contentment”

  1. Hi Debbie, you are not the only dull scholar in the school of Christ. I am a fellow classmate 🙂

    I think your conclusion sums it up right: “When I am discontent, I am looking to other things or people to satisfy my desires.”

    May we stop the complaining and murmuring against His providences and provisions and find our satisfaction in Christ alone.

    Thanks for this piece.

  2. Oh Debbie, the Lord impressed that very same reminder upon my heart just yesterday! As I was grumbling to myself about various things, the Lord reminded me that I have an abundance – I have my health, I have a home – shelter, I have food to eat, clothes to wear, electricity, clean, running water, heat/air, transportation, everything I need and then some. But most of all, as I sat & thought about all of the millions & millions who do not have Christ, I was humbled by how incredibly blessed I am. What prideful, wandering hearts we have! Good post my friend!

  3. Aren’t we all being ever renewed in our minds ?:) I love it when the Lord shows me the error of my ways…..how much I benefit from that if and when I agree with Him 🙂

  4. Our God is faithful friends. Godliness with contentment is a great so says apostle Paul. What encourages me it that when you start wandering, you always go back to He who is sovereign, not just sovereign but a loving Father as well. Someday all this will pass when our faith becomes sight, what a day that will be. You are greatly missed in africa but we get comfort from He who controls our steps. Love you guys& constantly in our prayers.

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