Thursday, July 14, 2016

Finding Contentment

By Lisa Harris

I’ve spent a lot of my life waiting for the next big thing. When I was in high school I couldn’t wait for college. Then I was single and couldn’t wait to get married. Once I got married, even that wasn’t enough. I longed for children despite years of infertility.

I think we all experience that wave of discontentment, maybe more often than we’d like. As a writer it’s wanting to win an award or making that best seller list, and then everything will be perfect.

If only.   

If only ________________ then __________________.

You fill in the blanks.

It’s simply so easy to forge on toward the next best thing, believing that will be the thing to make us content.
But guess what? It probably won’t.

And in the process we often miss the blessings right in front of us.

When I was first published by a major house, I was convinced my life was going to change dramatically. Can I let you in on a little secret? It didn’t. Except for the fact that I now had more work and higher expectations. A bad thing? Not at all. It was wonderful. But I learned that even achieving that dream didn’t automatically come with all my problems vanishing.

Don’t get me wrong, we shouldn’t stop growing or dreaming or having goals, whatever they might be, but what about enjoying the journey? I want to make sure I stop and find joy in the place where I’m at right now. Whither I’m completely where I want to be or not.

Paul says in Philippians 4 that he learned to be content. Yep, he said learned. Which sounds to me like it didn’t come naturally. He said he learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Well fed or hungry. Rich or poor. In need or having plenty.

We know that God doesn’t always change the situations we’re in. And sometimes that’s hard, especially in a world that seems to be in so much turmoil right now. Sometimes He uses tough situations to strengthen us, which in turn actually helps us to persevere.

So no matter what is happening in your life right now, whether great or difficult, take a moment today to stop and see the beauty around you. To see God’s handprint. Enjoy the moment as we strive to find contentment through Him no matter what is happening around us.

Be blessed!

Lisa Harris

LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for Blood Covenant and Vendetta from Romantic Times. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over twelve years working as missionaries in Africa. When she's not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at


  1. Lovely word, Lisa. I've just finished studying Philippians and it's amazing how Paul discovered contentment. Being in God's presence is more than enough. I want that.

    'Missing' is due to arrive next week so hope to start it soon. Can't wait.


    1. It's definitely something I'm working on in my life right now, because yes, His presence is enough! Hope you enjoy missing!!

  2. I've learned that if we don't learn to stop, to be still, to find contentment in what we already have, we'll miss what we have.

    It's an important lesson, Lisa. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Great post, Lisa! I was having this conversation with my four year-old today (in the context of wanting some toy that his friend has when our house overfloweth with toys!) and I was thinking about how much that applies to my writing. If I can't find contentment with where I am right now, if I'm always thinking it will come with more sales, or finaling for an award, or another book contract, then I'm missing out on so much joy in the journey!

    1. Exactly. I know I've missed so much waiting for something instead of realizing what I have right in front of me.

  4. Lisa, thanks for your encouraging and inspiring post. I agree, we need to learn how to be content because our natural inclination is to want more, and more, and more, and never reach a place of contentment. Paul knew what he was talking about in Philippians :)

    1. We definitely do tend to want more. I'm sure Paul and God, of course, knew that and knew we needed to hear his words!