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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:12-13
Marcie pulled open the cabinet to look once more. Just in case something had miraculously appeared. She had played this game every morning, hoping today when she pulled open the cupboard there would be a loaf of bread. Once again, she’d lost the round.
Walking to the refrigerator, she opened the door and retrieved a large bowl of pork and beans. “Honey crawl up at the table and momma will warm you some beans for breakfast.” She carefully measured just enough beans into a pan so that nothing was wasted, then she placed them on the stove to warm.
“We only got beans again mom?” her daughter asked.
“Yes, darling. Only beans, but today we will pretend like we are having bacon and eggs. You’re so good at using your imagination. I know you’ll be able to taste the eggs.” She placed the beans in a bright yellow plate, and folded a dishtowel to lay it in her daughter’s lap. “There, breakfast is served to the princess.”
Her daughter ate every bite, then grabbed her school bag and headed out the door for school. Marcie watched as she reached the gate. “Mom, that was the best bacon and eggs I’ve ever tasted.” A smile parted Marcie’s lips as she lifted two fingers to blow her baby a kiss. They didn’t have a lot, but they had what they needed.
Sometimes it is hard learning to make the best of a bad situation. Just when we think things couldn’t get any worse, there is always something that proves us wrong. Our problem is, we tend to become stuck in the bad things. Next, we feel sorry for ourselves, and before we know it – we’ve come to a complete halt. Giving up seems to be the only answer.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he took time to first, thank them for their concern for him and the difficulties he was experiencing, but secondly, he attempted to impress upon them that he had found the key to contentment regardless of his situation. He had learned that God sustains everything, and when he trusted fully, the Father would care for the rest. Paul made the efforts to continue to press forward, regardless of his situation. The key being that he made efforts. He didn’t throw up his hands and quit. He pushed forward
Marcie and her daughter learned to make the best of a bad situation, remaining grateful for the provisions they had. They pressed ahead, whether it was waiting for the next allotment of food stamps, or whether it was a new job. Our Father in heaven knows our needs and when we rise to the occasion, He is pleased. He provides. We only have to trust. Learning to be happy regardless of our situation is the beginning of that deep trust. And from here, we find the joys of a life of gratitude.
Prayer: Thank you Lord, for the many ways You care for us. May we always be content and trust in You.