A few times throughout my school years I vividly remember realizing that my handwriting wasn’t as nice as some of my peers. I also remember saying it didn’t matter because I didn’t plan on being a secretary or doing a job where my handwriting mattered much. I had a cleaning job and I also loved working at a bulk food store. I enjoyed being fully active and having jobs that paid me to do so.
But here I am, a few years later, “actively sitting” at a desk five days a week, addressing envelopes. When my health deteriorated, my dad and my uncle offered me a job working as a secretary for their roofing/construction company. When my dreams were forced to change, my heart changed too. I’ve learned many useful skills in this job. Some of them are physical, some mental, and some spiritual. One of the biggest lessons is that when my focus is on Jesus, it changes my attitude and heart in every area of my life. I can be a witness for Jesus in small things like addressing envelopes with my scrawly handwriting. When I write emails to customers, I know they can get a glimpse into the character of Jesus by how I represent Him through a company that is notably Christian by its name. When my focus is on Jesus, He will give me opportunities to share His love and shine His light. But if I am thinking about myself, I become focused on earthly things and seeds of discontentment grow in my heart.
When we’re focused on earthly opportunities we wish we had, we become blind to the eternal ones right in front of us. Our contentment should be based upon our relationship with Jesus and the trust we have in His timing. When we keep our hearts and minds fixed on eternity and serving our Savior however we can, we see the situations around us in a different light. 1 Corinthians 6:9 reminds us that our lives are not our own, but rather they belong to the Lord. When we make decisions based on that conviction, many of our problems, frustrations, and struggles dim in His eternal light.
It can be so easy to get caught up in the “next thing” or the more “holy” work that we think others are doing. But when we are focused on following Jesus and listening to what He has called us to do for this season of our lives, peace and contentment follow. Life might look overwhelming, and the next step unclear or off in the distance. I’m thankful that we have so many examples of God’s children following Him through difficult circumstances. Esther faced certain death, but she moved in the strength of the Lord, content in knowing that her life was in His hands (Esther 5). She recognized there was a purpose bigger than she, a Kingdom greater than the earthly one. She put aside her fears to follow God’s calling.
When we choose to look beyond ourselves and seek God with a willingness to be used by Him, He will give peace and courage that far exceeds our understanding. We may not save a nation through our obedience to Jesus, but we will be content knowing that we’re doing our best to serve Him.
God may lay hopes and dreams on our hearts but asks us to wait. It may be hard to be content in that season while we watch other women doing the more “holy” work that we desire. Whether it’s working with women at a crisis pregnancy center, interacting with a people group that lies heavy on our hearts, caring for refugees, or hosting bi-weekly community suppers, all things are holy when dedicated to the Master who called us. When our lives are lived to the glory of God, others are blessed by what we do, no matter what that may be.
Even when we aren’t advertising specifically for the company we work for, we are advertising for the King Whom we live for. Whatever we do or say should be a reflection of His character. As Christians, we are called to bear Christ’s image here on earth, and therefore we are the glimpse others have into the character of our Lord. If our heart is set on doing “all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31) and being content in “any circumstance” (Phil. 4:11), it will be evident, and can bless others. Contentment is often found through making many little decisions to keep our lives dedicated to the service of our Heavenly Father. It will never come from dwelling on what we wish was different or dreaming about what we wish we could be doing.
It’s not always easy to keep our eyes focused on Jesus rather than on our circumstances, but I want to encourage you to do your best with what you have wherever you are! We are not always in the place we’d like to be all the time. But Jesus always gives us opportunities to serve Him and glorify His name. When we choose to look beyond ourselves and focus on Jesus, the seeds of contentment begin to grow. But if we get distracted by wishing our lives were different, we soon become weighed down by discontentment. Choose to look to Jesus for strength and grace. He is always faithful to supply whatever we need to face our days, no matter where we are or what we do.
Here are a few things that may help when discontent is threatening, and it all feels overwhelming:
- Pray about ALL of it. God is not burdened by our problems and He is completely capable of carrying the weight of our hearts. It literally takes the burden off our shoulders when we commit everything to Him.
- Take a walk outside, get some fresh air. We all need a breather and this is such a good way to reset our brains.
- Make a list of things that you love about your job. There is always something to be thankful for, and our jobs are no exception.
- If you work from a desk or office, switch up the décor or give everything a good cleaning.
- Have a good cry when you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes we have a lot of pent-up emotions and it’s just hard! Don’t wallow in your sorrows, but crying is a good release of emotion.
- Think of someone else who may be struggling and send them a text, card or give them a call. Reaching outside of ourselves to encourage others is a good way to defeat the “I’m the only one” thoughts.
I will close with a scripture that’s meant so much to me, and that I pray can be an encouragement to you also. It’s found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and I like the Amplified version: “Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation (no matter what the circumstances) be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
*this article was originally written for and published by Daughters of Promise Magazine, September 2020
Author Bio: Kaitlyn is a lover of sunsets, especially the ones in her home-state of Nebraska. She enjoys drinking coffee, exploring new places, spending time with new and old friends, and deep conversations with people of all ages. You can often find her behind the desk in her little office, at home baking something, reading a book, or spending time with her family. She is passionate about finding beauty and joy in the everyday moments of life and sharing it with others. Kait always enjoys making friends and connecting with others, so you’re welcome to reach out to her on Instagram at @_katie.burk_ or email her at