Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude and Contentment

Gratitude and contentment are kin to one another.

Most of the time they go hand and hand.

Lately I have been flooded with guilt that has morphed into discontentment and in turn has bound up my heart... from thankfulness.

Instead I have been questioning why I have so much when so many have so little...

Why do my children have access to medication, doctors, hospitals....when so many in this world go without?

Why do I not only have a piping hot dinner every night, but one that consists of whatever my palate is desiring that certain day...when people are hungry for any type of food?

When I have the choice of beverage whether it be an expensive wine or a diet cola...and others are choking on dry tongues, longing for clean water to quench their thirst?

And this guilt is kind of a disguise for discontentment that partners with a type of ingratitude that lurks and masks itself as unworthiness or even humility.

But when stripped down and standing unclothed in the light of truth...ingratitude is exposed and has no chance of faking its way into a different appearance.

And the words of Paul breathed by the God of the universe written in the book of Philippians, chapter 4, strike a nerve down deep:

'for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.'

Paul had lived with plenty and he had lived in want.  He understood both sides of the coin.  With and without...

And God has fed me this Word of His tonight and filled me up with enough reminding me to be satisfied in ALL circumstances of my life.  When I have plenty and when I am in dire need of basic necessities.

The guilt has been replaced with a grateful heart that is content with enough.

And I am not encouraging or condoning hoarding material wealth.

What I would like to convey is that God has placed me in this life, this well-fed, soaped and shampooed up hydrated life...

...and so much of the time, lately especially, I have been consumed with this immobilizing guilt that never goes away... even after signing the check that not only feeds those hungry stomachs but also nourishes empty souls with the living bread of life that gives eternal hope.

Tonight I am letting go.  I am going to choose to live in the freedom that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

And tonight I am asking Him to grant me the gift of contentment as I hand over the guilt and instead thank Him for ALL situations!!

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