Contentment: A Godly Woman's Adorment
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by Lydia Brownback
Description: Buying into the lie of "I can only be happy if..." guarantees a frustrated existence. But God desires something far better for his daughters. This convenient On-the-Go Devotional will direct you away from empty distractions and toward what you really long for: a satisfaction that never fades.
eBook Publisher: Crossway Books, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: June 2009
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [145 KB]
Reading time: 65-91 min.
Living in the Valley For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter
under heaven ... a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; ... a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; ... a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8
Laughter and tears, love and loss, work and play--such words sum up the rhythm of life. Most of us will pass through each of these seasons at one point or another, perhaps repeatedly, because they are God's ordering for the human race in every age and time. But as we pass through some of these purposes, we do not feel much like singing about it as the Byrds did in 1965. We fight against the weeping, the mourning, the casting away, and the losing while striving to keep our lives entrenched in the laughter, the dancing, the embracing, and the peace.
The fight is quite natural, of course. We all prefer the mountaintops to the valleys. But the God who has ordered life to flow in and out of such seasons is the same God who has provided for our contentment in every season. Contentment is possible not only on the mountaintops but in the valleys as well. How can we mourn or lose or weep with contentment? That seems totally contradictory. And indeed we cannot if our contentment hinges on getting out of the valley, because we have no control over the beginning or ending of the seasons that God appoints for each of us.
Contentment in the valleys comes when we stop fighting so hard to climb out. God is the one who leads us into the valleys, and he will lead us back out in his time. God ordains valleys for our good; why else would a good and kind God allow them? Trusting God in our hard times is the way to contentment--not just trusting him to get us out, but trusting his goodness while we are still in them. If we will not trust him in the bad times, we are not going to trust him in the good times either. A friend of mine enjoyed a financially prosperous season a few years back, and she bought a beautiful home. Yet she wasn't able to enjoy it, she said, because "life is so good right now, but I know it can't last. I'm always waiting for the axe to fall."
Do we live like that, fighting so hard to stay on the peaks and to avoid the valleys? If so, we will never be happy in either place. However, if we will trust God in whichever place we find ourselves, we will know contentment whether the season is easy or hard. We will find peace in the hard times because a good Father is controlling them, and we will not be anxious in the good times because our happiness is not bound up in having to maintain them. Good times are designed to come and go, but contentment is designed to be constant for all who are in Christ.