Philippians 4:11-13 – Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (NASB)
One of the benefits of living in my lovely new residence is the privilege of meeting many people. I discovered that a woman who recently arrived had been a nurse at the hospital in Collingwood, Ontario, during the time that my son was born there in 1958.
My son was having dinner with me when that lady passed our table to sit with her husband. I told my son that she had been a nurse at the hospital where he had arrived into this world.
He said, "I don't remember seeing her!" After the laughter died down, I suggested that she might not have worked the night shift that March day. He did arrive at 4 a.m.
Thinking back to those early days, I began to remember many situations when it might have been considered tough, but when my wife and I felt content.
Our first apartment back in Canada from India had one bedroom. We put our son's crib in the bedroom and we slept on a pull-out couch in the living room. It was all that we could afford, as I was studying for my accounting degree. It was frugal. But we were content!
A kind lady from our church stayed with our son while his mother went to work as a nurse and I went to the accounting firm. When our second child was close to arrival, the lady told us that while our son always appeared happy when we left and returned, in the interim, he would stand at the window and cry. We realized then that it was best if at least one parent were at home.
After our daughter arrived, I continued Monday to Friday, and my wife worked as an emergency room nurse on Saturday and Sunday. My trainee pay was $200 per month — enough to pay the rent. My wife was paid $25 for the two days — enough to buy the groceries. It was tight. But we were content!
We celebrated my graduation (and the opportunity to make more money) by purchasing a jug of milk. We didn't like powdered milk, but it was less expensive and all we could afford for five years. But we were content!
As I was writing this, a staff member commented how everyone always seems to want more. They are unhappy when they don't get it, and they want still more when they do get it!
We would all be wise to follow Paul's admonition in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 – "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to be content with what we have. May we ever seek to put You first, knowing that all good things are given to those who trust You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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