By Colonel Genevera Vincent
Contentment is such a lovely word! When I hear the word, I have thoughts of home, surrounded by the people you love, enjoying a good meal and stories that make you laugh. I think of a peaceful place to “steal” away after a long day and just be quiet. I think of long walks with my husband, enjoying each other’s company and taking in the beauty and nature of God. I think of a task completed when I know I’ve given it my best shot.
The past few months in my life have been a little chaotic…packing, cleaning house, saying good-bye to family and friends, finishing up one appointment and starting a new one in a new location, a new country. One would think that it would be difficult to feel contentment, surrounded by such change and the unknown. I am grateful though to say that at this moment in my life…the season I am in right now is certainly one of contentment. When you are where you feel God has ordained you to be, that brings a great sense of contentment.
As I prepared to leave family and friends behind, I will admit there were moments of anxiety and tears, especially as I said good-bye to my parents who are experiencing health challenges in their senior years. However, as I leave them in the care and keeping of other family members, and to the God who loves them, I can still feel a sense of contentment that God will provide for them.
The apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11, gives a litany of things he could boast about, but they are not your typical list (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). He boasts because he’s been beaten more, imprisoned, shipwrecked, hungry, thirsty, in danger from bandits and the list continues. And then, in Philippians chapter 4, he declares that he has learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11-12). A study of Paul’s life reveals that his circumstances were often less than ideal. I guess that really says it-contentment is not about whether everything is peaceful and “coming up roses”. Contentment is not based on circumstances; contentment is a state of being. It is possible, as I am surrounded by change-new place, new people and new processes- to find contentment amidst chaos. I too, like Paul, can testify to having a contentment I can’t really explain.
For the past 36 years of officership, with changing appointments, I have said a lot of good-byes and hellos, I have grieved the loss of appointments and people I loved, while embracing a new family and opportunities that God affords me. I testify to the fact that in every circumstance, God has been faithful in providing his peace and contentment. I have lived my life very aware of the goodness and faithfulness of God. As I reflect on my life and where God has led me, I do so with gratitude that he always provides exactly what I need.
So, in this season of change for me, God is providing a sense of contentment. He brings calmness amid chaos. He provides new friendships and relationships to fill the void of ones now distant. God is good! God is faithful! I am content in Him!