The weatherman said if I went outside for more than 30 seconds, my skin would freeze. We had one of the coldest winters on record with wind chills around 70 below zero. The month of January alone had twenty missed days of school due to snow and brutal cold.
Most of the time the roads were impassable, and we were stuck in our house except when we had to feed the livestock. It was a winter I will never forget.
Those days of confinement taught my sisters and me some valuable lessons on contentment and productivity. Our parents believed if we were bored, we didn’t have enough responsibility (aka chores). Therefore, we learned early on to not say the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored.” Instead we learned how to get creative in down time. We would sew, make crafts, write, read, bake, and play games in addition to the chores list that seemed to grow during those days. We were not allowed to watch television during the day, and this was before the age of computers, so we created our own entertainment.
Philippians 4:11 reminds us to be content, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Often life throws us into situations or circumstances that we don’t like. At times like that we have a choice on how to respond. We could complain, we could rebel, or we could learn to work through the issue asking God for what He would have us learn in this season. It is during these trying times that our faith can be matured. We can learn to trust God in ways we had not done previously.
Notice in the verse above, this does not come naturally to most people. Paul, the author of Philippians, states that he has learned to be content. Most learning doesn’t come naturally and we rarely get it right on the first attempt. It takes practice. The same is true with contentment. But when we catch ourselves grumbling at the situation, we should stop and ask God what He would have us learn in these challenging times.
However, we need to remember that contentment does not mean apathy. We are not to get lazy and wait until the situation passes. We need to be learning, growing and studying God’s word. These times that seem wasted due to inactivity can become our best growing and developing seasons.
If the current situation in our world has you fighting cabin fever or if you are dealing with a situation that keeps you from doing what you desire, take a moment to ask God what He may be wanting you to learn in this season. You may end up finding great new dreams. It may result in a deeper, more meaningful relationship with a family member. The possibilities are endless. Take a few minutes today to ask Him what He wants for you in this season. Cabin fever may not be so bad after all!