Philippians 4:11 – Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (KJV)
"It is her quietness that speaks so loudly." At least that is what I believe the Holy Spirit was saying to me as I studied very closely the picture of the Mona Lisa that I found in the encyclopedia.
As I gazed at it, I noticed that the background was dark, desolate, and filled with crags. Yet, in the midst of this undesirable place, we find the beautiful Mona Lisa.
She has soft, gentle hands that appear to be marred; her fingers are long and graceful. Her eyes have the look of discernment and wisdom. Glancing at the cheekbone area, I see stolid peace. Her smile is intriguing — it makes me wonder if she had learned what it meant to be content.
I can't say that I've mastered being content in whatsoever state I am.
Far too many times, when I face certain circumstances, I find that I have head knowledge, but not necessarily heart knowledge.
As faithful and true as our loving God has been to me all through my life, far too often, I still find myself facing fears, doubts, and discontentment whenever a new trial or unforeseen circumstance arises.
Paul says, "I have learned to be content." It didn't happen overnight. You and I can find some comfort in that. Maybe, we haven't arrived yet, but praise God, it's our desire, and we are still willing to learn.
This poem depicts one of those times when I found myself struggling with the issue of contentment.
- A Flower In The Desert
Instead of just one little flower
A garden could have been mine
If during my stay in the desert
I hadn't grumbled and cried half the time
It took me a long time to realize
The reason why I was there
At first I thought He forgot about me
Or even worse that He just didn't care
Now I know it was His great love
That allowed me to walk through the pain
It was there in the valley of Baca
I saw more of God's victory and gain
When I stopped asking "Why have you left me?"
And to Him I surrendered in prayer
A strange thing suddenly happened
I realized He had always been there
May we learn to thank God for the opportunities that He gives us to implement what the apostle Paul teaches us in today's verse: learning to be content in whatsoever state we are.
Prayer: Dear Lord, although we may be slow learners, it is still our prayer and heart's desire to learn contentment. Thank You. Amen.