Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. Philippians 4:11 NLT
A simple water show stopped him in his tracks.
Our daughter surprised my wife and me with a vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC. Being the planner that she is, she had every day planned with things our two grandsons would enjoy.
The day before we came home, we were to visit Broadway on the Beach. Our destination was a dinosaur museum. We watched with delight the smiles on our grandsons’ faces as they watched the mechanical life-sized dinosaurs move about, making the sounds the designers imagined dinosaurs made.
When our tour was over, we went to a favorite fast-food restaurant where we enjoyed music and singing and dancing by the waiters and waitresses. On the way out of the park, our grandsons’ attention was captured by a small water pad where spouts of water danced about in different shapes. Nothing we had seen thus far held their attention as this. They were content to stand and watch it do its programmed tricks and were sad when we told them it was time to go.
The apostle Paul had it all and he had nothing. From a well-to-do religious leader to a Christian zealot who was hounded by the same type of persons he once was. From death threats to shipwrecks, he had seen it all. But he wasn’t worried or anxious. He had learned what I struggle with: contentment.
While Paul had joy in all circumstances, he wasn’t happy about all circumstances. There is a difference. Happiness is determined by my circumstances or what I have or don’t have. Joy is a state of being.
To have happiness I must have things or my circumstances must always be pleasant. To have joy, I merely need a relationship with Christ. When I have Him, I learn to appreciate every little thing I have. Joy is present in good times and in bad times, in abundant times and in sparse times.
During His earthly life, Jesus had little. He grew up as a carpenter and later wandered from town to town as a traveling preacher, teacher, healer, and friend. He had no place to lay His head. But He was content because He was doing His Father’s will.
Learn to be content by finding joy in your relationship with God. When you do, anything else will be a blessing that brings happiness.
Tweetable: Have you learned the art of contentment?
Prayer: Father, teach us the art of contentment.