For I have learned to be content in all things...
My ponderings this past week have been about simplicity and contentment. I love the way each word sounds when spoken and the images they bring to mind. I only wish each were as easy to achieve and to feel in my everyday existence.
Like Paul in the verse above, I am learning to be content no matter what circumstance I may find myself in. It doesn't come naturally to the human soul as we find ourselves quite often longing for more.
I realize it is only by embracing simplicity that I can truly live a life of contentment. I think deep inside we all know that. Simplifying our wants and our desires and our very way of life... slowing down... living life for the purpose we were created instead of seeing how much we can do or see or accumulate in this brief time on the planet.
If we use the accumulation of stuff as a barometer of our happiness, then when we find ourselves in a season of lack.... or we simply do not get what we want... we have no joy and we (wrongfully) feel God has abandoned us.
The late poet-troubadour, Rich Mullins, wrote it so well in this chorus from If I Stand...
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the Giver
Of all Good things.
I suppose if the man who wrote a great deal of the New Testament had to learn to be content in all things, how much more a mere Midwestern wife and mother would struggle with such temptations.
The Word says He knows what we require in this life (and being a God of beauty... he knows our need for such things). But is our relationship with Him only good when we have everything we want or does the "stuff of Earth" come between us?
He is faithful and true to the one who trusts in Him... with patience and contentment... with a thankful heart.