‘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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4:12-13
I sing with such confidence and joy about Jesus our guardian, and lose the nerve so quickly.
This morning was wonderful. I got such a buzz sitting at the back of church serving the coffee and croissants, looking out at the faces of all these people and just feeling God’s love for them. The sun was shining. I could not have been more content.
Tonight at church we sang, “when I hear you say ‘trust and obey’, I will walk by faith and not by sight, God of my life” and I sang it joyfully, absolutely on board with God’s plan for my week. But midnight rolls around and it’s not always so easy is it?
Maybe it’s just time to get some sleep. Definitely. But I need to learn that even if I am not up to a challenge right now, I need to hand it over to him, and I will be up to it when I get there, because God is faithful. In that security, I can be content, even though there are a thousand loose ends in my life right now.
As part of his talk tonight, our curate Alex played the video of a young couple who lived through a terrifying turn of events, when they changed from being chiefly young and in love, to young, in love, and dealing with a traumatic brain injury. You had to see it to believe it, but they are proof that contentment is available whatever the weather, and God is faithful. I never want to have to go through such a test myself. I gladly went home and ate dinner with my husband. Alex’s point (and St Paul’s) was that contentment is available whatever the circumstances: it’s the difference between being a thermometer (reacting to the ambient temperature) and a thermostat (acknowledging the temperature of our surroundings and controlling our response, which in turn changes the world around us).
The fact is that we can be just as unhappy when things are wonderful, even when its true that the ‘boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places’ for us. We still have hard days. So it’s our response that has to be the biggest factor.
Please God help me not just react this week. Thank you that you are always there for me.