Contentment is Learned posted by John Sorensen on Feb 16, 2012
It’s 5 am in the mountains and it is the quiet that has me up. Not for the quiet itself, but for the fact that it is in quiet that I most clearly hear the voice of God. When I first came to Christ it was in silence, and so it has been that the quiet is not only a source of strength, but a place of hearing. As is the case this morning.
Yesterday I learned that we have some significant challenges in our unrestricted income and expenses. Because some things have gone significantly over budget this month, we will need to nearly double what we have to raise in the remaining few months of our fiscal year, which ends in June. Things may be a bit lean for the remainder of the fiscal year! While this is a challenge, this is not what has me up at 5 am. For I know that this is the Lord’s work, and I am not ashamed to lay the burden at His Able Feet.
What I am reminded of by the Lord this morning is the idea of contentment. I know that sounds a bit odd for what I just told you. But you see, this is what the Apostle Paul was talking about in Philippians 4:11 when he said, “I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content.” He was talking about having a lot, or a little, and being OK with that. He had learned that he could do all things through Jesus. He had learned to rest and be content. You see, contentment is learned through difficulties. While that may not be a popular notion, it is the truth.
My teacher separated by time is Charles H. Spurgeon. I read his devotional pretty much every day. Guess what his topic is this morning? Yep, contentment. And he reminds me that contentment is learned. For Paul it took beatings, jail, and great difficulties with with all kinds of stuff, including funding, until the lesson hit home and his heart rested in the fullness of Christ’s joy. I laughed when he reminded me that weeds grow easily. No worries. Do nothing and they will come. But the good stuff takes diligence on our part to nurture and grow. And that diligence is hard work. He said, “The precious things of the earth must be cultivated.”
I will have a conversation with a printer today on the book Green by the ArchBishop Harry Goodhew. I can’t wait to get it into your hands. This is the topic, “Growing deep in a Spiritually Shallow World.” Exploring these precious things that need to be cultivated in our lives.
Whatever comes today, most of all, let us be content dear brothers and sisters. Content to walk in His way. Content to take His yoke upon us, for His burden is light.