"But godliness with contentment is great gain." (I Timothy 6:6)
Moving again! It felt like I had just adjusted to one move and it was time to move again. I wish I could tell you that I learned to handle moving with grace right away, but I didn’t. I complained about the town (too small), the weather (too unpredictable), my job (couldn’t wait to quit), money (not enough), the stores (not my favorite ones), and most of all the state where we were living.
After a few years of this, the Lord spoke clearly to my heart one day through a verse in the Bible: "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." Phil. 4:11 (NKJV) Ouch! That hit hard. It meant I needed to learn to be content even in the state where we were living!
Many years later, I can’t tell you I have learned all there is to know about contentment, but I have learned one very important lesson: contentment is a choice. Paul says in this verse that he has learned to be content. In the next verse he says he has learned the secret of being content whatever the circumstances—whatever his state.
What is Paul’s secret? Margaret Jensen, one of my favorite authors, writes, "The secret of happiness is a thankful heart." I believe this is Paul’s secret as well. We can choose to be thankful for the good things in our lives. I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be thankful for tragedy, heartache and suffering, but we can choose to focus on the things that we can be thankful for in the middle of difficult circumstances.
Moving is one of the inconveniences of baseball life, but we can learn to be content in any state!
Prayer: Father, sometimes I get so tired of all the moves, new faces, and turmoil. Teach me to be truly content wherever you take me, and to trust your plans for my life. Help me to look at my circumstances with new, joyful, satisfied eyes.
Suggested Reading: Philippians 4:10-20