By Rusty Stowe - Senior Adult Minister
Someone once wrote:
“As a rule, man’s a fool,
When it’s too hot, he wants it cool,
And when it’s cool, he wants it hot,
Always wanting what it is not!”
This guy must have lived in Oklahoma. When we live through some of our hottest summer months, we pray for cooler weather! Then the first “cold front” comes through and we are wishing it would warm up. It seems we want what we do not have. But we do pretty much the same thing in our lives. When we are young we say. “I can’t wait until I can move away from home and be on my own!” Then we get away from home and say, “Sure wish I could go back to Mama and Daddy’s.”
We find ourselves asking “What If?” There once was a very wealthy businessman who saw a guy sitting lazily beside his boat. “Why aren’t you fishing?” he asked. “Because I have already caught enough fish for today,” the guy replied. “But why don’t you catch more than you need?” asked the businessman. The fisherman then said, “What would I do with them?” The impatient young business man said, “Man, you could earn more money, buy a bigger boat so you could go out into deeper water and catch more fish. Then you could retire and become rich just like me.” Then what would I do asked the fisherman? “Well you could sit back, enjoy life and relax.” To which the fisherman said, “What do you think I am doing right now?”
Contentment is a word many people do not understand. The Apostle Paul wrote about a similar situation and recorded it in his letter to the Philippians. In chapter 4, verses 11-13 read that Paul learned what it was to be “content.” Several times Paul said he had “learned” what it was to be content. He says that he not only learned from his past experiences how to cope with life, but he learned how to live life victoriously. He tells us that our contentment does not come because of our circumstances. Circumstances change! He tells us that he learned how to be content in every situation.
Basically, Paul was telling us not to play this “What If” game. Learn how to be content wherever God has placed you. Contentment does not mean sitting back and doing nothing. It means moving forward to be where God wants you to be, to do what He wants you to do and to become the person He wants you to be. In verse 13 of this passage from Philippians we are reminded that our strength comes from the Lord and through Him all things are possible.
By virtue of our relationship with Him, because of our living union with Him and our identification with Him we have the power to do something we would not otherwise be able to do. We can be content when things are good, we can be content with things are not so good. We sing a song that says; “Change my heart O, God, make it ever true, change my heart O, God, may I be like you!” Content is made available not through our efforts or by our circumstances or even by other people. It is only available through Jesus Christ