This subject has me fascinated! LOL It seems like everywhere I turn, I'm reading something that can apply to being happy in the season of life that we are in. Naturally, the first place we look for guidance is the Bible, God's handbook for life. God gave us several examples of both contentment and murmuring.
One of my favorite Bible characters is Ruth. She is the perfect example of being content in her seasons of life. She was content to be married to Naomi's son. She was content to stay with Naomi. She was content to work in Boaz' field. She was content to obey Naomi and seek out Boaz as her kinsman-redeemer. I can't recall any instance of Ruth complaining about her seasons of life! And look what happened to her! She became the great-grandmother of Israel's greatest king, and was one of several Gentile women included in the lineage of the Messiah!
Mary was content with her season of life, wasn't she? When the angel told her that she would have a baby while remaining a virgin, I'm sure she was shocked and confused and even afraid. But her answer to the angel was, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." She was perfectly content to go through the shame and misunderstanding of the man she loved, her family and friends, because she was confident that God was working His will in this season of her life.
A male example of contentment that comes to mind is Joseph. He was content in Potiphar's house, content in jail, content in Egypt doing God's work of storing up food for the coming famine, content without his family back in Canaan. We find him devoting himself, in each situation, to God's will and being 100% in the situation, wherever he was, instead of wishing he were somewhere else.
Some discontented people? How about the Israelites all through their history?!! They weren't content in Egypt working as slaves (I have to admit I'd find that hard too), they weren't content at the Red Sea, in the desert with manna raining down for them every morning. They had to have meat . . . so God sent them meat. Quails blanketing the camp every day. But they weren't happy then, either. They wanted the leeks and the garlics and the fleshpots of Egypt, when God had supplied them with sweet manna and juicy quail! They had begged for meat, so God sent it to them. However, in Psalms, we read that God gave them their desires, but sent leanness into their souls. Psa 106:15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. Yikes! I don't know about you, but that scares me. I have some desires, but I sure don't want leanness of soul! God had sent all that quail to the discontented Israelites, but it was so much that they soon grew sick of it. What a miserable position to be in!
Job's wife didn't like her season of life. She didn't like losing her children, her wealth, and her husband's health - and neither would we! So she recommended to her husband that he curse God and die. God was merciful, though, sparing her life and giving her 10 more children later in life.
Eve didn't like her season, either. What could God mean by holding back good things from her?? Didn't He love her? He surely wouldn't mind if she just tasted that beautiful fruit just one time! Her one act brought leanness upon all our souls, didn't it?
Going back to leanness of soul: when I was about 12 years old, I begged and begged my mother to let me wear pantyhose (I wasn't happy in my "sock" season!). That was back when it was much more in to wear pantyhose to school instead of socks (I was in a Christian school where we were required to wear dresses every day). But she wouldn't let me wear them, because she was one of those old-fashioned parents who believed that children shouldn't grow up so fast that there was nothing left for them to look forward to (another blog entry for another day!). But I begged SO much for SO long that she finally gave in and let me wear pantyhose. Didn't that first pair of hose feel so good??? No, not at all. I had gotten what I wanted, but it wasn't because my mother willingly gave it to me, but because I had pushed and pushed till I had gotten my way. I was pretty ashamed of myself, and the pleasure of wearing those valued grown-up pantyhose turned to sawdust for me. Even at 12 years old, I learned a valuable lesson: it's much nicer to get the fun, grown-up things when Mama thinks I'm ready for them, instead of forcing the issue myself against her wishes. I think it might be that way with God too. It's much nicer to get what He has in mind when He decides we're ready for it, than to push to get our own way and find it's not as delightful as we thought it would be.
These are just a few examples that came to me as I thought on this idea of living in our season. I think I have one more post in there somewhere. So many times we hear or read devotionals or sermons, but there is no practical application. That's what I'd like to add to what has turned into a series. It'll be a few days, though.