Read: Philippians 4:12-13
Reflect: One of our precious children wakes up every morning, barely opens her eyes, and immediately asks, “What are we doing today?” I have quickly learned that she is not looking for any type of answer that contains the words “staying” and “at home.” She is our go, go, go kid and wants to always be on to the next thing.
This week I took the kids to the park. They were having a wonderful time. Up and down the slides. Back and forth on the swings. Around and around the merry-go-round. All the sudden her demeanor shifted and she looked at me and said, “So where are going next?” I want to go to the library. Can we go to the library? What about ice cream? Can we get ice cream tonight? How about that new Fox Meadows place?” How quickly her contentment disappeared and became anger as my lack of yes answers negated any fun she had been having.
We often find ourselves reminding our daughter to stay in the moment. To enjoy what she has and what she is doing. Trying to stress that she is missing out on the fun by wanting to move onto the next thing.
She lacks contentment.
She’s not the only one. How often we do we anticipate and worry and question and wish for time to move quicker? How often do we miss what God has for us in this current moment and season of life by wishing for the next interval?
Philippians 4:12-13 does not mince words. Contentment does not come naturally. While my dear daughter has some work to do, she was not born lacking some trait the rest of us already possess. The human race struggles with contentment.
Paul immediately addresses this in his use of the verb “learned”. “I have learned the secret of being content.” Being content requires a learning process. It is not a natural instinct. However, Paul knew that “in Christ all things are possible”. Learned contentment through Christ is not reserved for happy times alone. Contentment was not based on Paul’s current state of being (hint: his time spent in a Roman prison was not the ideal situation for happy time memories). Instead, Paul learned to be content even when life had left him in need, hungry, and in want.
Apply: Are you currently in a season of need or hunger or want? Has contentment seemed like a dream? Are you missing what Christ has to offer because you are instead only wishing for the next season to start? Are you standing on the playground while crying for ice cream? Living a life in Christ’s contentment is only possible through Christ himself. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Let Christ be your contentment.