We gave our couch away. It was a lot like sitting on a pile of sharp rocks. So we weren’t doing anyone any favors when we gave it to them. They sat on it. They knew it was like laying on a water-washed gravel driveway. I miss that beautiful couch.
Endure: to bear, tolerate, suffer patiently
Content: Satisfied; not wanting more or anything less
I’m working on being content. What I’m finding is my being content looks a lot like enduring. My husband would probably say I’m not suffering so patiently without the couch. Is there a word for suffering impatiently? Because that’s more of what I am doing.
The bible has much to say to us about enduring (2 Tim.4:1-5). It produces good (James 1:2-4). But, the Bible also tells us the secret is being content; it is great gain. (Phil. 4:11-13, 1 Tim. 6:6-8)
Content is difficult for me. Lately, my days are filled with time that I haven’t had before. Being content with this time is new for me and for other people. “What are you doing with your time?,” “What new memories are you making?,” “Would you like to join my sales team?” is what everyone wants to know. Seeing someone being content as a work in progress is hard for us all. Including me when it is me.
While I’m working on being content, God is working on enduring. God is not content. He endures. But God endures much differently than I endure. You want to know what comes up most when searching for the word ‘endure’ in the Bible? “His faithful love endures forever.”
This isn’t my kind of enduring when I’m suffering impatiently for that new couch. Here is God’s definition of enduring:
God’s Version of Endure: to bear without yielding; to sustain.
In all of the ancient languages the word endure comes from the word for hard, strong tree; something that withstands, is lasting, and can bear. I have an oak tree (which the Greek refers to in its meaning) that is over one hundred years old, I’m sure. I can’t imagine moving it. It withstands. It bears. And, oddly enough, it is content. I don’t have to ‘do’ anything to it to keep it going. I don’t water it or feed it. It just is. It is content just being. It has endured and is somehow content all at the same time.
How do I find the balance between being enduring and being content like the old oak tree, I wonder? Well, I’m gonna start by working on changing my definition of enduring from mine to God’s. Bearing without yielding looks a lot better than suffering impatiently. It probably sounds a lot better for people listening to me, too.
But, don’t tell my husband I’m doing this bearing without yielding thing. I still really want a new couch.
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