The Intersection of Healing and Contentment

I was minding my own business. I was not even near the turmoil. In fact, I was about 85 miles away celebrating my father’s 88th birthday. Little did I know, the red truck I left parked in my own driveway was slammed by another vehicle. The estimator at the body shop asked me if it was hit by a train.

This is what I came home to several hours after the accident. Was I upset? Yes!

However, the whole incident caused me to think about what really matters. It also caused me to think about healing and contentment.

Reality Check

Most things do not matter. Yes, you read that correctly. I considered how my children often write on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. Or they go through the driveway as they are getting their bikes from the garage. We were not home, and they were not in the driveway.

Did I like my truck? Yes! Did I love my truck? No! I love God. I love my wife. I love my children. I love my friends and my church. I did not love my truck.

The truth is, it does not matter. Not really. It is a large chunk of steel, rubber, plastic, and wire. That is really all it is. At the end of the day, my God is good, my family is safe, my friends are well. That is what really matters.

Some things matter. Some things matter A LOT. When someone does something personally harmful to you like abuse or theft or ____. That matters! When our families are being harmed. That matters! I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Contentment when things Matter

In Philippians 4:11 – 13, Apostle Paul said this,

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

When I read this, I am reminded of Paul’s shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments, and general difficulties. He went through a lot of things through no fault of his own and those things mattered. Through all those things, Paul learned to be content.

I pray that we can all find Paul’s way of thinking about life. Look at his words carefully – “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances” (emphasis added). Did he really mean all circumstances? That is a strong, bold statement. He goes on and instantly gives the reason for his contentment, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Christ Brings Contentment

We often quote Philippians 4:13 when we are facing something difficult. I suppose it fits there. However, Paul’s context for this verse had to do with contentment. Through Christ, he learned to endure just about anything with a sense of peace rather than turmoil.

You may be in a position where someone else has caused damage in your life. Yes, for me, it was a relatively meaningless truck. It causes inconvenience and mild frustration. But it could be anything. Perhaps you were abused, abandoned, intentionally mistreated, stolen from, or any of a host of other things.

I would love to be able to tell you that I have 3 steps for you to find contentment. I do not have them. I do believe there are steps you can take, but that is a lot more than you want to read right now. It may be 3 steps, 9 steps, or 413 steps. We are all different and we’ve all experienced life differently.

I strongly believe that healing from trauma is as much a spiritual matter as it is anything else. Here is what Paul said about that earlier in that same chapter (Philippians 4:4 – 7):

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Writing in spiritual terms, Paul does give a few useful steps:

1.     Rejoice in the Lord. Recognize who God is and that He loves you and is on your side.

2.     Be anxious for nothing. Pray and ask God to provide what you need. Trust in Him even when it feels like you should be doing something else.

3.     Receive God’s peace. This is more than a feeling. It is a way of thinking. Notice, this peace will guard BOTH the heart and mind.

Healing and finding contentment come through a variety of ways. For me, the best way is to receive spiritual healing through Christ. Allow Him to do a spiritual work in your life.

Do Your Part of the Work

Before I sign off, I also want to add that you have some work to do. The guy who hit my truck cannot fix it or replace it. I must do those things myself. I did not ask for it to be smashed. I did not want it to be smashed. I was not even around when it was smashed. But guess what? It is mine and it is smashed. Even though I did not want to deal with it, I am shouldered with that responsibility.

I have to do my part of the work and let the insurance company do the rest. I have had to ask for help – a tow truck, body shop, and my insurance company. I have had a relationship with my insurance company for a while. They were waiting for my call.

If you have suffered because of someone else’s actions, you still have to be involved in your own healing. That may require forgiveness. It might require reconciliation. It may require therapy. In any case, you have some work to do as well. That person cannot heal you.

You have to do your part of the work and let God do the rest. You might need to ask for help from a friend, pastor, or therapist. Most importantly, ask God for help. If you have a relationship with Him, He is waiting for your call!

There have been some injuries in your life that truly matter. I pray you will receive the Lord’s peace and that it will guard both your heart and mind. I pray that He will guide you to and through any steps you need to take in order to gain healing and contentment.

God bless you!  

Pastor Jason