Contentment Is Not Perpetual Happiness

In a world that tells me I can “have it all,” it is quite hard to accept the fact that God may not have a houseful of children planned for me.  I’ve wanted that since I was young.  As a little girl, I saw lots of moms with their children.  I saw the joy reflected in the faces of mothers and their children as they interacted with each other.  Motherhood seemed to be a happy time.

The truth is that I don’t always get what I want.  As a young, married woman, I saw that I was not receiving a quiver full of children.  Without lots of children surrounding my table, how was I going to be happy?  Thus began a struggle to “have it all.”  I had forgotten that God provides what I need, and He knows what is best for my eternal good.  God provides abundant blessings to all of His children, whether single or married.  God’s sons and daughters receive the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life and so much more. Those blessings can only be good gifts.

I never imagined that barrenness would be part of my vocabulary.  I never dreamed that it would be part of my life.  To hear the word “barren” would conjure up visions of darkness, loneliness, and lack of hope.  What a wrong picture that was.  God’s blessings abound for the Christian, barren woman.  She is a baptized child of Christ.  The Lord is with her always.  He grants to her the forgiveness of sins and so much more.

The Lord, in His mercy, has granted me a loving spouse and a dear daughter.  I know that I gain nothing by trying to control my own fertility, or by coveting the children that have been given to others.  I have learned to rejoice in the blessings that have been given to me, and that has helped me to be content.

If my source of contentment is myself, then my world will constantly make me unhappy.  I am a sinner, and my feelings will often lead me to pity myself, to covet the gifts others have received, and to be angry at God.  None of that could ever lead to happiness because it is subjective.  There will be no contentment for me when I focus on my selfishness.  Things go wrong.  My life is not always a happy place.  If I’m going to trust contentment to come from within me, then I’m going to be sad nearly all of the time.  There is suffering in this world, and Satan uses suffering to lead us to despair.  He tells me that my barrenness is what’s giving me sorrow.  If I can find some way to “fix” my barrenness, then I will be happy.  If I have one child, then I will be happy.  If I have another child, then maybe I’ll be happy.  To that, I say, “Satan, be gone!”  Barrenness is a cross to bear, but Jesus Christ has borne my sins and sorrows for me and gives me Himself.

True contentment can only come from outside myself.  Jesus Christ is the only true source of peace.  Thus, being content does not always mean that I will be happy.  And thanks be to God that my contentment does not rely on me.  There will continue to be times of sorrow throughout my life.  I have pain and trouble; I don’t always feel happy.  Thank God that my faith in Him does not depend on my feelings.  I know with 100% certainty that I am saved from myself through the blood of Jesus.  Because of His grace and mercy, I can go to sleep in peace.  My world is filled with troubles, but I know that I rest in the arms of Jesus.  There is no safer place to be, for it is in Him alone that I have complete comfort.  I am at peace in Christ alone.