Philippians 4:11-12 – – “Not that I speak according to lack, for I learned, in whatever circumstances I am, to be content./ I know also how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound and to lack.”
- What is it to be content where we are?
The study note (of the New Testament Recovery Version) for ‘content’ says “self-sufficient, satisfied in oneself. This is a word used by the Stoics, who taught that a person should be content in all circumstances…” and also points to verses in:
1 Timothy 6:6 – – “But godliness with contentment is great gain” [study note: ‘An inward self-sufficiency, as opposed to the lack or the desire of outward things. It was a favorite Stoic word.’] ,
1 Timothy 6:8 – – “But having food and covering, with these we will be content” [study note: ‘sufficiently provided for’ ]
and Hebrews 13:5 – – “Let your way of life be without love of money, being satisfied with the things which are at hand; for He Himself has said, ‘I shall by no means give you up, neither by any means shall I abandon you’; [study note for ‘love’ : ‘Surely money lovers cannot enter into the reality of the church life. We should always be satisfied with what we have so that we cannot be distracted from the church life by mammon. Since we have the Lord as our Helper, we should be content and at peace that we may be kept fully in the enjoyment of the church life.’]
Here’s where I get to my point:
Yesterday, I received an Ipod from a sister, an actual Ipod. I’ve never owned one before. Now, because of this sister, I own one, and I’m excited about it. I came home with it last night and started fiddling around with it. And then, I started looking around my room after playing with it – – and today I was observing my room even more and reflecting on all the gadgets that I have that are electronic:
I own a TV with a DVD player: ( I don’t really mind not having an exorbitant amount of channels from cable) – it serves me well if I can watch the shows that I like to watch on it. I also don’t mind not having a HUGE widescreen high-def TV either.
I own a netbook laptop, android Samsung phone, and an Ipod:
And for fun – – I have a Nintendo DS Lite, an old PlayStation, an HP ipaq ( a high school grad gift from my dad), an external hard-drive, and even a baby AM/FM radio boombox:
I won’t mention the digital camera I used to take these photos… 😉
So, with all of these items, that live in my room, (my own room, at that) – attached to it, a full bathroom with a skylight in the ceiling of it, – a roof over my head, a car to drive, a yard swing in the front yard (that the majority of the time, i usually swing on, not really anyone else), a plant, a 2 year old dog…I SHOULD be content right?
YES. So, with everything provided to me by my parents according to the Lord’s mercy and grace, and even things given to me by my siblings and friends, this girl better be content. So, what IF I don’t have a job right now? I’m not making any money – – And my one and only dream in life was to become a stay-at-home mom with a husband and kids, which isn’t easy, and I get to experience this in a different facet – being a stay-at-home daughter and caregiver, which still isn’t any easier. It’s not always easy, there are good days, there are bad days – – ordinary days, and so forth. But really, if you take the time to reflect on it, this is a way that the Lord has taken care of me and shepherded me – at least in a materialistic way and in so much more by teaching me to appreciate the little things in life. There are people who don’t have the opportunity to have these things like I do – and I’m not intending to boast, I’m just pointing out, that I have a lot to be grateful for, I have a lot that I need to enjoy – – Life…it’s enjoyable when we take in more of the Lord’s life and let Him infuse us because He IS life itself, but it’s also what you make it out to be. If I’m sad or depressed all the time, that’s not going to get me anywhere. I literally have everything I need right now, physically, (maybe the emotional support could use some work…), spiritually, – I know I’m right where I need to be. In the Hebrews verse I stated above, the Lord isn’t going to abandon us. I shouldn’t worry so much (Matt. 6:34 – – “Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself; sufficient for the day is its own evil”) .
I’m still learning to be content in my situation – I’m not always happy about where I am, but as I am often reminded by some, take the time to reflect on how the Lord has shepherded you and taken care of you up until this very moment of your life and you’ll see, we have nothing to worry about, we should be content and satisfied – – even more so, learn to come to the Lord and enjoy Him when we’re in those moments of despair because we have no idea what’s going on. He’s the satisfying One. He’s the One that makes us content. He fills us to the brim, and teaches us to be filled with Himself.
So, Keep abiding in Him, living in and to Him, and He’ll satisfy you, and show you how to be content in whatever situation you’re in.