12 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
When we had lost our baby but before we had the official medical opinion, I had a conversation with God in the shower because that’s where we always talk. Only there can I understand my real position before His throne as a dummy in need of a good washing, and He, in love, speaks into my heart.
In the hot running water, I solemnly surrendered my will, a daily task. If you want to make it all okay and give us our baby right now, then we would praise you. If your answer is no or not yet we will praise you. You gave for a reason and you may take away for a reason. I’m not so interested in the Reason as I am in how to manage the outcome with faith and maturity, in thanksgiving and praise.
They say when God closes a door, he opens a window somewhere else. Whenever I hear that I imagine myself removing the screen and trying to hoist myself onto the sill. But maybe it just means he opens the window because he wants to show us what’s going on outside, why we aren’t allowed out there.
If you had asked me to define contentment 3 months ago I would have said something like, it’s when you’ve come to terms with everything, and you’re okay about it. Sort of but not really.
Contentment is being complete and lacking nothing. And it’s not passive resignation, it requires a careful mixture of waiting and acting. Waiting, because sometimes He calls us to wait on his answer. Acting, because sometimes the blessing is under a thin layer of sand. It’s in God’s will to both act and wait – whatever may be necessary at the time. And if we are in His will, we rest in the shadow of his wings. Content is being untouchable by disaster.
…they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28
The Canaanite woman whose daughter was suffering had to act. She had to bravely endure the intimidation of approaching a Jewish teacher who rebuffs her 3 times, not to mention the disciples’ attitudes toward her. A little work was required here, a few tears, and most likely a little public humiliation.
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. Matthew 15:28
In the Greek, μέγας, megas. Vehement, intense, of high importance, weighty, splendid, magnificent, eminent, illustrious, noble, distinguished, powerful. Great.
In faith we trust. We seek God’s will in our lives which means to stop seeking our own, and that takes some courage. And courage requires faith and if we have faith, we lack nothing.
The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need. Psalm 23
I can begin to relax my clenched fists one finger at a time. Now I understand what he means by living in plenty or in want. I am content.