Being content is something I've been trying to learn for a long time, and the Lord continues to work on me about it. I am so thankful for my loving - and patient - Heavenly Father.
It's not that I long for or wish for what someone else has or does. For me, it's mostly thinking, "Why do things like this have to happen to me (or my family)?" But over the years I have (slowly) learned that the Lord uses all kinds of situations - good and bad - to help conform us to the image of His Son.
I like what John MacCarthur says about learning contentment, based on Phillipians, ch. 4...
- trust in God's providence
- be satisfied with little
- be independent from circumstance
- be sustained by Divine power
- have a pre-occupation with the well-being of others
The third point really hits home with me. "independent from circumstance" So when things are going rough, I should not let it affect me at all. Wow! That's a hard one! I find it much easier to just grumble and complain about it. But as I tell my children (and I'm preaching it to myself, too), "The right thing to do is usually the hardest thing to do." So instead of asking, "Why me?", maybe I should ask, "Why not me?"
"Now godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6