Thursday, June 14, 2012

Learning to be Content

As my son, Tyler, and I were heading out to dinner at Willy’s Mexican Grill yesterday evening, we were talking about his summer job as a counselor at Camp All-American.  He worked there last summer as well, and even though the pay isn’t great, the experience of sharing Jesus with the kids is rewarding. 

We talked about how he didn’t plan to work as a camp counselor again this summer.  He’ll graduate from college next year and was hoping to find a paid internship for the summer.  Those seem to be very few and difficult to find.  Tyler acknowledged that it’s obvious that this is what God has for him to do this summer, even though it wasn’t his preference. 

I believe that if we have a desire to follow the will of God, we will always be where God wants us to be.  Our circumstances will always be what God wants our circumstances to be.  If that’s true, why then are we often dissatisfied with our circumstances?  If God has placed us where he wants us, we should be content, knowing that we are in the center of God’s plan.

It’s difficult to be satisfied with our circumstances in our society.  We’re taught to work hard to be the best we can be and to pursue the American dream.  I love that about our society, and I embrace it enthusiastically.  But when we reach the point where we have done our best, and our circumstances don’t change, perhaps we should recognize that we are exactly where God wants us to be at that moment.  And if we recognize that, we should learn to be content.

In Philippians 4:11-12, Paul says “…I have learned to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”  The secret Paul learned is found in the next verse.  “I can do all things through him [Christ] who strengthens me.”

Learning to be content requires surrender.  Paul had learned to surrender his desire for what the world could offer to the desire to follow Christ and to be in the center of God’s will.  In Christ he found strength … and contentment.

Many are frustrated with their circumstances due to our current economy.  Work hard to be all you can be, but recognize everyday that you are exactly where God wants you to be.  There is no better place to be than in God’s will.  Learn to be content.

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