Daily Light from the Lighthouse
"I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."
"The grass is a little greener, the air is a little fresher, and the problems are much fewer on the other side of the fence." This is a standard view of life for so many of us. We always want something else besides what we have. It all came very natural to us as children when we wanted the toy that another child had although we had plenty toys of our own.
There are many individuals that spend much of their time considering and dwelling on how much better it would be if things were different. If only we had a different and better job, we would feel so much more fulfilled. If we could just live in a certain place, I know that there we would truly be happy. If I could minister to a different group of people, that would give me the satisfaction that I am looking for. These are just a few of the common perspectives that too many of us have. We have based our whole happiness and fulfillment on something that we do not have. Amazingly, Paul is writing these words from the confines of a prison cell. It was probably a damp and dark room full of filth and vermin with very little ventilation and absolutely no amenities of which to speak. Here is where Paul finds contentment with no longing for a better and more fulfilling place in this world.
Think of just a few things. First, when we are not content with where we are or what we have, we are actually saying that we are not happy with God. It is not a mistake that you are where you are or have what you have. It is by the gracious and good hand of God that all of these things have come to pass. Make it an exercise to rejoice to the Lord daily for where you are and what you have, and watch how your perspective changes. Second, when we are not content, we tend to invest less where we are. God placed you here for a reason. There is a saying that we should "bloom where we are planted". In other words, don't spend time groaning and longing about something or somewhere else. When you live this way, you tend to give less of yourself to the place where you are. This is a selfish mentality, because there are people that need you right where God put you. Finally, be still. The greatest advice that we are given in the Word of God is to be still and just know God. Can you imagine Paul ramming into the door of his cell trying to bust it open and escape? That sounds ridiculous! You are not in bondage but free in Christ! Lie still in the warmth of the Son and just know Him. Close your eyes and see only God, so that when you open your eyes to your surroundings you will start seeing other and the place where you are as God sees it.
May you live in contentment today and every day!