Welcome to Living Contentment Weekly. Here are your three contentment-related thoughts for today. Something for you to: read | do | pray
It feels like over the last few weeks my life has been hit by a lot of sad, tragic, disappointing, discouraging things. High school kids whose dad suddenly and tragically dies. Someone is diagnosed with cancer as soon as they make wedding plans. Burning, looting, and murdering at a school. Complex physical illness resulting from trauma. Failing organs, failing trust, failing marriages. Some of them are friends. Some only people we know. Others are even farther away. Some hit our family itself.
I had this newsletter drafted when one of our teammates shared at our weekly team bible study about grief. How we need to do it. How it doesn’t make pain go away, but helps us deal with it.
There is a danger that in our desire to be content, we mistake contentment for happiness, and in doing so, eliminate the possibility of grief. Perhaps we convince ourselves that if we are content, everything just rolls off our back. That showing signs of grieving, mourning, weeping are signs of weak faith.
This. Could. Not. Be. Further. From. The. Truth.
Jesus wept at the death of his friend Lazarus.
Paul instructed the Thessalonians to grieve – just not like those who have no hope.
Sad, tragic and devastating events require a response of remorse, sadness, anger, and/or grief
Grief and mourning are not the opposite of a contented life, but are a fundamental part of it.
Is there something you need to mourn?
Name it. Call it out. Identify it. This will not give it more power – it will help you move through it.
When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever
Talk to you next Thursday!