Philippians 4:11-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I love that scripture. During different phases of my life I’ve had different favorite scriptures but I always come back to this one.
I have lived through times of great abundance and times of great need. I’ve had years where I’ve bought homes and cars and taken vacations and never looked at a price tag. And I’ve had years where I’ve eaten Ramon Noodles and boxed mac and cheese every day and have been thankful for even having that. There have been times when I’ve been surrounded by friends and family and support and other phases of life where I’ve stood alone. I’ve had great paying desk jobs and I’ve scrubbed toilets.
There’s an old saying, “No matter where you go, there you are.” When I was thinking of moving to NC from CT I was reminded by many that sometimes a change needs to be more than just geography. My life has changed a lot over the last five years. I’ve had greater peace now than I’ve ever had before. Now, when I read that scripture I can actually relate to it, I can understand what Paul meant when he wrote it. It doesn’t matter where we are physically – in a big new house or in a Roman jail. It doesn’t matter if we have friends and supporters around us or if we’re physically alone. It doesn’t matter if we had filet mignon for dinner or mac and cheese out of a box. It doesn’t matter if we have designer labels in our clothes or if they came from Walmart.
The treasures we store up here are so temporary and fleeting. The only thing we take with us when we die is our character. The treasures we should be focused on are the ones being stored up for us in Heaven.
If we have a relationship with our Creator, if Jesus is in the center of our lives and our hearts there isn’t any outward circumstance that can take that peace away.
We can be content.
I am content.