I love a good rabbit trail. Especially when studying God's Word. When something I'm studying leads me someplace else and ends up not quite where I expected, but exactly where I need to be.
Yesterday morning I was following contentment through Scripture using the concordance in the back of my NIV Study Bible. Not exhaustive by any means, and subject to translation choices rather than the original languages, but it's what I had at the time and set me down a path that ended where I'm going. If I can stop rabbit-trailing and just tell you what I want to tell you already!
There's one reference to "contentment" in the Song of Songs. It's not really what I was looking for (which has to do with Psalm 23 as I prepare for Bible study in the spring), but was intriguing (because isn't the Song of Songs intriguing?) and I decided to come back to it this morning.
Here's what it says:
Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.
(Song of Songs 8:10)
Something in me just expands and aches with that. Yes, my soul sighs.
I long for that to be true of me. A wife who brings contentment to Toben. O God, make this true of me for Toben, I pray!
In the Hebrew, the word that is translated "contentment" is shalom. Take a look at the definition: completeness, soundness, safety, peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment, friendship, peace (from war). The noun comes from a verb that means to be in a covenant of peace, to cause to be at peace, to be complete, to be finished, to make safe, to restore.
It's not something that's just going to happen. It's going to take some effort on my part. Some asking him how I can do this--even if the answers are uncomfortable. O, to be brave!
Am I causing Toben to be at peace? Am I a safe person for him? Does he feel safe with me, or am I causing him to hide? Am I truly a helpmate? Do I refrain from warring with him? What am I doing that brings him restoration?
We're headed up to a cabin in the mountains in a few weeks for four days of intensive counseling. Our eighteenth anniversary is coming up and it's been a long time since we've sat down and really focused on where we are, where we want to be, what might need some adjusting or just plain fixing.
We all settle into routines and schedules and life just kind of goes along sometimes without much thought or intention. I suppose it will be like going to the doctor for a full check-up.
I'm a little scared. Silly, but true. And yet I'm hopeful too. And eager for time to talk and think and dream and learn how I can become the wife I long to be.