Contentment in the Waiting - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Faith
December 9, 2016

Contentment in the Waiting

Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock…with each passing second, a baby is born, a soul is lost, a child laughs, a tear is shed. In that moment, life changes drastically for millions of people. For some, that moment makes no difference, but for others, it means the world. As I walk through college, I am continually struck by the fleeting nature of life. Too often, we plunge ahead never looking back, pressing onward toward our goals and dreams. These goals, whether they pertain to graduation, marriage, etc., oftentimes feel light-years away. As a result we become utterly impatient, wishing away the seconds, wishing for a brighter day.

Sometimes, waiting can be difficult. We think, “When I graduate/When I get married/When I get my own house everything will be better. Everything will be as it should.” After daydreaming about the future, we come back to reality – the 1,000-word essay due in 2 hours – and we become dissatisfied with our lives. We become impatient to the work God has given us today and the path he has placed before us.

Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Many of us know this verse, but few take it to heart. God knows every detail of our lives. He knows who we are going to marry, where we will live in the future, what job we will hold, and what GPA we will earn at graduation. He doesn’t need us to know the plan. He needs us to be content with it.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, was a wonderful role-model of contentment. Being whipped, shipwrecked, stoned, beaten, and imprisoned, Paul had every reason to be discontented with his life.  Instead of complaining, however, he considered it joy. In Philippians 4:11 he states, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” In the same way, we must be content.

God has a plan. There is a time and place for everything under the heavens. In a culture of instant gratification, waiting for God’s timing has become antiquated. When a desire emerges, we instantly gratify it. We feel lonely, so we get a boy/girlfriend. We have a food craving, so we buy 2 buckets of ice cream and 5 bags of chips. We want to fit in, so we buy the next pair of trendy shoes we stumble across. 

Contrary to popular belief, being content with what one has is much more fulfilling than instant gratification. Fulfilling momentary desires only leads to discontentment in the long run, but a content heart leads to patience. Patience is not always easy, but it is worth it

So, next time you are sitting in the library memorizing a stack of notecards the size of the empire state building, remember to be patient. God’s plan for you is ever unfolding, and He will bring it to fruition in His timing. In the meantime, find contentment in the fact that you have a loving Heavenly Father who cares for your needs. Life is full of so many blessings. Count them one-by-one, pray for the Lord’s guidance, and find joy in the waiting, knowing that these years are precious and given for our growth and pleasure.

At Geneva College, contentment and other biblical values are reinforced in all curriculum, athletics, and activities. For more information, contact Geneva College Admissions at 800-847-8255 or admissions@geneva.edu.

-Olivia Forton ‘19