...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 is one of those verse we Believers like to pull out when we're trying to be spiritual. It's a touchstone of our faith. Alone, it's one of our Christian mottoes. As I read the passage this morning, the beauty of the placement of this verse washed over me.
Paul states that contentment doesn't come naturally. He's reached this place only by the supernatural power of Christ.
One of CJ's recent vocabulary words was contentment, which Webster's defines as "the quality or state of being contented".
con·tent·ed \kən-ˈten-təd\: feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation
In other words, having peace about where I am in life.
The pursuit of peace and simplicity was born because I was not content. In fact, I was a malcontent.
mal·con·tent \ˌmal-kən-ˈtent\: a discontented person: a: one who bears a grudge from a sense of grievance or thwarted ambitionI always wanted - always expected - my life to be more. My high school dreams of a high-power career and all the trappings never came true. After I became a Christian, I set my sights on having a big ministry. That hasn't happened, either. I didn't realize that I was actually angry with God for not allowing those things to come to pass. I had it all worked out in my mind...why wouldn't He get on board?
I didn't know how discontented I was until I'd worn myself out with futile attempts to create the picture-perfect life. I was working so hard to make it look just right, and nothing was good enough.
For example, in the attic are solid linen curtains I ordered before we moved into our home. I always knew exactly where they were, but I got different curtains after we moved in. I don't remember why the first ones weren't good enough, as I'd never taken them out of the packages! I would like to think there was a valid reason to buy different ones, but, more likely than not, I just wasn't satisfied. I brought one of the linen curtains down from the attic last week, and I really like them. They'll fit beautifully with the streamlining I've done, and I can't wait to hang them as my "summer" drapes!
I'm finally learning to appreciate the gifts He's given. Through His power, I'm finding contentment.
Oh, Praise His Name!