Finding Contentment In Every Season
It took a few painful decisions and some major wrong turns in my life to learn the hard lessons of contentment. This is not to say I have it mastered, but I definitely have a healthier perspective on the value of “staying put” than I used to. My wife and I are approaching 2 full years of ministry here in Beatrice, and we are just beginning to see the lasting fruits of blessing and prosperity that come from perseverance, consistency, and longevity. Our family is healthy, our church is growing, and our relationships are thriving. So much of this is simply due to the fact that we haven't given up. We are choosing this place, owning this season, serving this community, and loving this city. “Learning to enjoy the journey” is not just a cliche’ sound bite; it actually works.
"The lasting fruits of blessing and prosperity come from perseverance, consistency, and longevity."
I recently had a young college student confess to me that his recent move wasn’t fulfilling him like expected. He missed his old community, school, and friendships. I knew his pain. Don’t you? We’ve all made decisions to move places, move jobs, or move schools that we later came to regret. Especially me. This is my default setting. I’m a go-getter. Always have been. I jump at the chance to take action. I want to “seize the day” and make the most of every opportunity. One of my personality "strengths" I discovered in college was “ACTIVATOR." This means I’m great at getting things up and running, getting things off the ground, getting things moving. But on the opposite side of every strength is a weakness, and my weakness is a lack of development and sustainability. During college I had 4 different jobs and moved 4 different times in 4 years! That’s crazy! Each change seemed justifiable to me at the time, but some of us are just addicted to change. I didn’t know it at the time, but every time I “uprooted," it ended up taking me backward not forward. My family suffered, relationships stifled, and ministry stalled all because the “grass looked greener."
"I didn’t know it at the time, but every time I uprooted it ended up taking me backward not forward."
In Banning Liebscher’s book, Rooted, he talks a lot about the power of staying put. He uses examples from his own life and those in the Bible and encourages his readers to thrive in the “growing” seasons of life. In regards to finding contentment in every season, Liebscher writes this: “It can be very tempting to try and speed up God’s time line for building your roots. You must understand that getting out of sync with the timing of God’s seasons puts you in danger. Every assignment, job, city, ministry, relationship, position, and lesson adds something crucial to the foundation of your character and skill. If God is ever going to add more “weight” to the structure of your life your foundation has to be strong.”
"Getting out of sync with God's timing puts you in danger because every season adds something crucial to the foundation of your character and skill."
If you are feeling discontent with your current situation let me remind you that GOD HAS YOU THERE FOR A REASON. Instead of pushing against whatever lessons He is trying to teach you, try and embrace the experiences that He sees necessary for your future. He truly does know what’s best. The real test is trusting Him. You find “greener grass” not by looking for it in someone else’s lawn but by accepting your lawn, dead spots, weeds, and all, and then partnering with Jesus to cultivate it into something special. It’s by trusting Him and His plan to develop you through every season for something greater in the future that allows you to find contentment in all circumstances.
"It’s by trusting Him and His plan to develop you though every season for something greater in the future that allows you to find contentment in all circumstances."
Like the old adage goes, “the grass is only greener where you stop ripping it out.” Wait, that’s not how it goes! “The grass is only greener where you water it.” Either way, I think you get the point. ;)