Thursday, January 1, 2009


How often would you say you're content?

As a child I used to take any given moment and run a sort of systems scan on my body. I didn't grow up unhealthy and most of the time I'd say I wasn't in pain, but for some reason I would analyze if any part of my body was in pain. And usually I could find someplace which wasn't entirely comfortable. Crazy game, huh?

Why do we look for ways to be discontent? Christmastime can especially bring up feelings of wanting things we don't have. And that doesn't have to be limited to material items, it can also relate to relationships. A husband. A wife. Children. Grandchildren. A sister or a brother. Here's the apostle Paul's take on contentment:

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. (Philippians 4:12)

Ever notice how Paul's statements like the one above leave you wondering how close he was to the end of his life with God before he could say something like that? He seems so mature as you read his "I statements." And then do you wonder how long until you get there? I've gone through seasons where I thought I had this concept conquered. Wow, does life experience and time have a way of humbling a person!

The other application I want to mention for this verse is that Jesus knows how to make us hunger for Him. He created us with a need for Him that nothing else can even attempt to satisfy. So, when we finally figure out to go to Him for that need, and we put action to that understanding, we can begin to experience His infilling. But then something amazing happens. Awakening followed by filling followed by... hunger. Hunger for more of Him. So, in the same instant we're content (thanking God for drawing us closer) but hungry (for more of His presence). What a pattern.

Oftentimes, He'll use the physical state of our being in need or wanting something to show us how much we need Him. And whether we're wealthy and can say "you know, there isn't one thing I don't have that I want" or the opposite--one thing is true.

We all need God. Desperately.

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