A few weeks ago we sat in an adult Sunday School class in Georgia. The topic was contentment. The challenge was from Philippians 4:11-13
…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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’m generally content with what I have. We dropped to one salary a couple months ago so Cory could focus energy on Partnership Development. I would like it if we could go out to eat more often and if I could drop a little cash at Target but I can’t and it really doesn’t feel like that big of a deal to me right now. So I thought I had this contentment concept down pretty well.
Until the Sunday School class continued and I began to think about this season of life–Partnership Development. It is, as I said before, the worst. A huge part of my motivation for spending energy on fundraising is to get this season over as soon as possible. I do not like asking people for money, I do not like not knowing when we can leave for the field because I’m dependent on other people for financial support. I do not like the time and energy this process takes.
It turns out that, while I’m content with the stuff we have, I’m not content with the season we’re in.
And, yet, this is the season God has us in. I don’t think it’s fair to ask missionaries to be fundraisers; it’s a different skill set than doing ministry and we’re not very good at it. I don’t like having to do this on top of my full-time job, on top of having a family, on top of trying to maintain friendships, on top of trying to stay healthy. It’s all a little too much and I don’t want to do it. And, yet, this is the season God has us in.
If this is the season God has us in, and I’m called to be content in this season, I need to stop chafing against the fact that I’m in this season to begin with. I need to stop caring about fairness and need to let go of the fact that it’s simply not what I want. I need to learn to be content being here, and be fully here, until I’m not anymore.
I don’t know how to live content in this season anymore than I know how to live within healthy limits. I guess the good news is that it’s something that can be learned. Paul says, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…”
So, I guess it’s time to learn. Who’s with me?