Discontentment. The word sounds like a toddler in clothes with scratchy tags, a wealthy woman complaining about the pace of restaurant service, a gaggle of teenage girls gossiping about a so-called “friend.” The word doesn’t just sound ugly; it is ugly. And it is my major sin struggle.
How many times have I started sentences or my thoughts with these words:
“I just wish that…”
“All I want is…”
“God, if you could just…”
The lie of discontentment is that if that one tiny (or not so tiny) thing was made right, everything would be fine. But I am like the Princess and the Pea. My pea may be six mattresses down, but I start to feel as if that pea is my entire reality. I can’t relax because that darn pea is ruining everything!
You may laugh, or you may know exactly what I mean.
Friend, if you are batting discontentment, you are not alone.
I struggle daily to be content with God’s call, and my circumstances. But my biggest battle with discontentment comes in the form of my seasonal affective disorder. From June to November, I feel stronger and brighter and more rooted in the reality of Jesus. It’s easy to keep up spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, prayer, and community. It’s in the winter months that remembering the reality of what I have in Christ is a battle—a major one. If I don’t fight, I wither. He calls me to let His “capital R” Reality fight my emotions and stand firm in His truth.
My winter battle often feels that it demands more than I have to give. So, to my disorder and the sin it wants to lead me into, I have to say, “YOU listen to ME. Jesus rules this space, not you.” And I preach to myself. I pull out my Bible and I feed myself the Truth of God’s Words even when my feelings don’t change. I keep meeting with the women I disciple, sharing the good news that I have just fed myself. I listen to my husband’s sweet voice say, “What can we be thankful for today?” and even when I want to bristle, I find something that has been a gift that day: an unexpected laugh, a brief stretch of sunshine, buying a gift for a friend. I marvel that the sun came up today because God told it to and that no chemical in my brain or sins that beset me can keep His mercies from being new, again, again, again.
We seek contentment by making the most of the resources God gives us. We have the Holy Spirit and the Word, and we are wise to turn to counseling, medication, and mentorship. Contentment means that whether relief comes or not, we agree with God’s Word that things work together for those who love Him. Contentment has a name, and that name is Jesus. Shifting emotions can’t steal Him, and depression can’t make Him disappear. Christ is my contentment.
Psalm 16:5-6 says,
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
You hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”
With the Psalmist, I claim the Lord as my portion and cup; not the next change in my circumstances. He holds my lot. He knows it all. As I press into His truth, I acknowledge in that capital “R” reality that I have a beautiful inheritance because Christ Himself is my inheritance. I do not rejoice because things will “get better” but because I have Jesus, and He cannot be taken away. Whatever God ordains, I can say that in Christ, the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. If you battle discontentment, take the leap. Let the truth of Psalm 16 rattle your soul rafters and rouse you from your reverie.
I don’t know your discontentment. I don’t know if the pea in your mattress is family dynamics, depression, work environment, disobedient children, or something else. I don’t know what has you saying, “If only…” and “All I want is…”. But I know that filling in those blanks yourself won’t work. The answer is not a thing or a timeline. It’s Jesus.
Our healing starts with repentance. “Jesus, forgive me for letting sin take root and listening to lies that say you aren’t good; that you’re holding out on me, or that you don’t care. When I look at the cross, you anchor me to your Reality.” This is our leap; to repent of wallowing in discontentment, and believe, even on our worst days, that Christ is enough for us—especially here, absolutely now. Our leap is a beautiful turn toward God in faith, believing wholeheartedly that our lives are best lived in His care.
I don’t need the pea to be taken from under the mattress to find contentment. What I need is Christ. And not even a lifetime without seasonal depression could give me what Jesus gives me—Himself. Beloved, I have Christ. You have Christ, and in Him, we have everything we need to be truly content.
Claire Urig is the Social Media Coordinator for Revelation Wellness. She loves to see women find their identity in Christ alone and saturate themselves in God’s Word. She adores her husband Wade (and keeps busy doing college ministry by his side), is obsessed with all things British, drinks way too much bubble tea, and finds a level of joy in sunny days that others might consider a bit extreme. You can find her on Instagram at @claireurig.
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