Philippians 4: 12-13 Paul writes:
I know what it is like to be in need. I know what it is like 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 everything through him who gives me strength.
Over the past year I have been part of a growing number of people around the US. I have been unemployed. After ten years at the same organization, my position was eliminated. My husband is disabled so our family had been dependent upon my wages to make ends meet. So, like so many others, I can honestly say that I know what it is like to be in need especially as the bank balance dips dangerously close to zero.
To the outside world, it looks as if my family is "poor." We have had to learn to "make do" or simply "go without." It has been a couple of years since our television has served as anything other than a means to watch an occasional DVD. My dryer had been out of commission for about seven months, forcing us to utilize the clothesline. It got fixed about three weeks ago and ironically the washer died just the other day. Our one and only computer has 3 keys that no longer work and so we use the on-screen keyboard to compensate. My husband's recliner does not recline....the list is quite long, actually, of things we used to take for granted and cannot use at this time.
One lesson we've learned is there is a difference between our "wants" and our "needs." God provides our "needs" just as He provides the needs of the sparrow! We are not hungry. We have our home. We have each other. We truly are abundantly blessed!
Over the past year I have spent a LOT of extra time with the Lord. He has shown me that I am to praise Him in all circumstances, good or bad. It's like the old saying my Mother often shared. She'd say that every cloud has a silver lining. And she was right. Even bad situations can be turned around if approached with the proper attitude. I could have spent the last year worried and anxious but His Word tells us not to worry. There has been tremendous blessing from being on sabbatical (as I often refer to my unemployment.) I KNOW that this time has been a gift. It has enabled me to spend quality time with my husband, sit with my daughters during their hospitalizations, care for my granddaughter and be there for my extended family.
I have learned to stop and smell the roses and to appreciate the little things in life that otherwise might be taken for granted. And by doing so, by completely trusting in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I obtained a level of contentment that I have not previously experienced.
Count your blessings and learn to appreciate all that you DO have. It sometimes takes a little bit of effort to see that "silver lining" but if you ask the Holy Spirit to point it out you'll soon recognize it. And perhaps you, too, can find the secret of contentment.
Follow Him Faithfully