Summer seems to be zooming by so quickly. I lament that there just isn’t enough time. I wanted to make changes to my website, add some of my favourite products, share some new discoveries, finish making edits and changes to books. What has been distracting me? Camping with the family, playing at the beach, lounging in my backyard, yummy treats in the garden. One particularly sunny afternoon I found myself at a beach with friends wishing I could get wifi so that I could chatter on my blog a bit. My friend and I sat with our littlest people all about us as our husbands played in the water with the older kids. As her husband paddled off with some children in a canoe she commented, “I wish I could be in the canoe and not here on the beach with the little ones.” It reminded me of so many other conversations, moms who wanted a change in the routine, friends that wanted more rest and less work in their vacations, me complaining that I don’t have enough time to get my work done because I am too busy resting and relaxing with the family.
As I reflect on it, it seems silly that I’d rather be twiddling on my laptop than resting with a cuddly toddler in my lap but human nature is so powerful: we always want what we don’t have. It is in those moments that I have to step out of my circumstances and give my head a shake and wonder at my own stubbornness. The Lord gave me so many things to rejoice at that there should be no room for envy, for wishing for that which I don’t have.
The apostle Paul wrote it well: 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 everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13, NIV).
I think it should read more like this, “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 everything through him who gives me strength. (The Unauthorized Cori Version) Did you catch that change? The colon. In Greek there were no punctuation marks so they have been added to help translate the meaning of the text. I think that what Paul was teaching here was just this….
We are all seeking that secret to being happy. Paul says it doesn’t have anything to do with your circumstances but that it has everything to do with Him who gives us the strength to rise above circumstances.
If I find it a struggle to be happy when the sun is shining down, when surrounded by friends and family that love me, when the pantry is full and its hard not to run outdoors at all hours just to breath in the summery air, then what of the winter months when we feel like we have been locked inside for days and yet another little one is sick. The challenge, in both circumstances is to find my contentedness in Christ who is my all in all.
True contentment is knowing that Christ’s death on the cross is really all that we have ever needed, more than food, more than shelter, more than family or acceptance, more than the air that we breathe. Walking in contentedness then comes from relying on the strength that can only come from that supernatural source that makes us able to truly smile in difficult circumstances. That is bliss!
Wishing you blissful summer moments Friends!