I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to live with nothing, and I know what it is to live with everything. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4: 12-13
This verse has been in my mind a lot the past few days. My husband used it as the basis of a Thanksgiving message for our local community Thanksgiving service last Sunday. Chris and I were contemplating and praying through a situation yesterday for which we just don't know the answer. We're in the "in-between time" right now. We know the problem, we know God will solve it, but right now we're in between the two of those. And it seems to me, that it's the "in-between" space where it is hardest to find contentment. Yet, as Thanksgiving approaches, I realize that it is only by cultivating contentment that we can be truly grateful. And I have so much to be grateful for...my family, my friends, health, home, food, God's amazing grace. In a moment of epiphany yesterday, I understood clearly that this present challenge is actually a wonderful gift from God, an opportunity to simplify, to take stock, to prioritize, and to practice contentment. I want to be able, throughout my life, to look out over the hills and valleys and declare, "It is well". To pray, as John Wesley said, "let me be full, let me be empty...I freely and heartily yield all things to they pleasure and disposal." Life should not be a series of challenges to master, a list to check-off as we go. But rather, life should be an experience we drink in, a precious gift in which we give thanks to God for the opportunity to be, to do, to journey, to love. And so, this is my Thanksgiving prayer for you:
May you experience the beauty and gift of every ordinary day that's left to you.
May you center your life on the things you are grateful for.
May you pay attention to what's worth caring about.
May you read the sacred in everyday life.
And may the God of grace and hope give you strength to do all that He is calling you to this day.
In Jesus' name,
*Taken in part from Katrina Kenison's The Gift of an Ordinary Day
Blessings and Peace,