We’re presented with a choice every day. To be content, or to be unsatisfied with the life we’ve been given. My grandparents chose the first.
“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
What does it mean for one to be content? Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary describes it this way:
1. Rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition; satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint, opposition, or further desire, and often implying a moderate degree of happiness.
A wise content his even soul secured; By want not shaken, nor by wealth allured.
I’ve spent time with people from both sides of that choice and seen the vast contrast between the two. It is deeply saddening to see the torment, anguish and suffering on the face of a dissatisfied, discontented person, advanced in years. In comparison, there is the tranquil, peaceful and joyfully radiant face of a soul satisfied in Christ – a person who has worshipped Him with their whole life.
“Nothing makes God more supreme and more central in worship than when a people are utterly persuaded that nothing – not money or prestige or leisure or family or job or health or sports or toys or friends – nothing is going to bring satisfaction to their sinful, guilty, aching hearts besides God.” ~ John Piper
In their old age my grandparents demonstrated a serenity and quiet strength that is not often seen in this world. It was a result of life spent seeking after the Kingdom of God, instead of material things. There was no lack of suffering in their lives. But they chose joy, and suffered well. They were deeply rooted in the love of their Savior, and it was evident to all.
I am eternally grateful for the lessons in character my grandparents gave to me. And my hope is that one day your grandchildren and mine, will be able to look to us as examples of faithful, contented lives, whose ambition it was to live for eternity.
May it be our desire to live a life filled with gratefulness, contentment and joy in Christ, such as my grandparents displayed. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
~ Justina Dee
As my grandparents went through some incredibly challenging times with their health, this next article/video from Desiring God is a testimony similar to theirs: Learning Contentment In Marriage