"...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" (Philippians 4:11)
How that verse takes me back to my days of "learning" to be content! For the first six years that we lived in Liberal (we have lived here going on fifteen years now), we lived in a ramshackled, old, 4-room, 640 sq. ft. house out in the country that was, literally, falling in. In fact, it was slated to be bulldozed when we moved into it, and it was bulldozed after we left it! We took the house as "temporary" housing until we could find "something better."
There was a huge hole in the kitchen ceiling, the kitchen floor had dropped four inches below the cabinets (you could see underneath the house when you were standing in the kitchen), all the walls were termite-ridden (you could, literally, poke your finger through them) and, every spring, the termites swarmed...INSIDE the house!
The walls were cracked where they joined together and you could see daylight through them, there were holes in the floor under the kitchen sink and bathtub (every kind of animal imaginable visited us...possums, raccoons, skunks, snakes...you name it...it was like having our own "Wild Kingdom"...INSIDE THE HOUSE), and there was no heat (we put in a wood stove and filled every crack with whatever we could...old rags, newspaper, etc...we plasticed EVERYTHING...and, still, we about froze to death out there). Today I often wonder...how in the world did we ever make it??? It was awful! And I was so depressed!
But there was nothing! NOTHING else became available to us! (Some of you probably remember when we lived back in that house, and the miraculous story of how God moved us out of there! It was, indeed, a miracle! And I STILL thank Him and praise Him daily for our dear, little house here! Is it big...no! Is it fancy...no! But, it's ours and we're thankful!) The point is...the Lord kept us there, in that ramshackled, old house for six, loooooonnnnngggg years...until we truly...in our hearts...LEARNED to be content.
And, let me tell you, it took awhile! We had come from the Kansas City suburbs where my husband worked for the City of Blue Springs. We lived in a nine-room (5 bedroom) house...had central air, central heat, a dishwasher, garbage disposal, our own classroom...everything! We left it all to come here and start this ministry.
Let me ask you...are you content with the things that the Lord has given to you today? Or are you among the modern set...always wanting what you can't have...always wanting more, more, more...trying to keep up with everyone around you...no matter what it costs? You don't have to answer these questions out loud, but be honest. The Lord already knows your heart.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6).