Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Content, No Matter What . . .

Philippians 4:11
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Pastor Wallace tells the story of his friend, Frank, who works hard all his life and has done well financially.  With retirement nearing, Frank and his wife, Mary, decide to build their dream home in the North Georgia mountains.  They invite Wallace to visit when the construction is complete and they're settled in.

Wallace can't believe his eyes.  Constructed from finished logs, this luxury "cabin" has five bedrooms, five baths, a two-car garage, full basement, hot-tub, a gourmet kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances, a wrap-around deck, and a view to die for.

"I'm really impressed, Frank," Wallace tells him after completing the grand tour.  "And, I'm happy that Mary and you have this grand place to live out your retirement."

"It's our dream home, that's for sure," Frank admits, "something we've always wanted.  We're enjoying every minute living here.  Can't imagine living anywhere else."

A year later, Wallace receives a call from an ecstatic Frank.

"Pastor, I just had to share the good news!  We've just bought two acres on top of a nearby mountain, and we're building a bigger and better house than this one here."

"Really?"  Wallace is confused.  "But, I thought the house you have now is your dream home?"

"Not anymore," Frank confesses.  "The new one is what I like to call our dream-dream home.  "We'll have you over as soon as we've moved in."

True to his word, Frank invites Wallace to the new house.  Eight bedrooms, eight baths, a full garden, five-car garage, and every amenity one could possibly desire.  And, the view?  Immeasurably breathtaking!

While he keeps his thoughts to himself, Pastor Wallace can't help but wonder what two people need with all this space, not to mention the upkeep of rooms and grounds.  Why did they grow discontented with their original retirement home?  Wasn't it enough?
~
Frank and Mary are typical of so many people in our day and time.  They are under the illusion that acquiring material possessions will bring contentment and happiness to their lives.  I like to call it the "If-I-Only-Had" syndrome.  "If I only had (you fill in the blank), I'd be happy."

We hear that so often, don't we?  And, perhaps, like Frank and Mary, we are guilty of saying it ourselves.  But, true happiness, joy, and contentment cannot be found in things.

They are found in our hearts.

Hearts which beat with confidence in the love God has for us.  Hearts which know that in all times and in all places, the Lord is in control.  Hearts filled with peace no matter what life sends our way.

Trusting in God's promises.

Content, no matter what . . .
~
Has your heart found true contentment?

Will you join me in prayer?
As we celebrate and look forward to the New Year, Father, we pray to be content in our hearts, knowing how much You love us and care for us.  May we ever rest in that knowledge, no matter what this year has in store.  Amen.

18 comments:

  1. Amen dear friend. I pray with you that God may teach us what true contentment means :)Lots of love and Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy and Blessed New Year, Melissa! Thanks so much for visiting!
      Yes, may He show us how to be content in all things . . .
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Happy New Year Martha! May you find contentment in every moment.
    This subject has been a constant lesson for me. I learn it on one level and then must re-learn it on an even higher one. I've learned how to be content with very little and the Lord has been faithful not testing me beyond my ability. Living within the heartbeat of each moment is the only way I find true contentment. Gratitude brings contentment within these moments. I believe this lesson is ongoing for each of us and that we never "arrive" completely.
    Sending love sweet Martha. Thank you for this timely post.

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    1. Happy New Year to you, dear Leah, and thanks so much for stopping by today!
      Yes, it is, indeed, an ongoing lesson for us all. Thank goodness God never gives up on us and always gives us what we need when we need it to get to that next level of contentment and peace.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Recently watched a video on Netflix on being happy and it showed people who live in a one or two room shack with their whole family, work hard at being a rickshaw driver (runner?) and are incredibly happy! What is the difference? Happiness, contentment is a decision not an activity or the accumulation of things. Lovely post.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Lynne!
      You are so right - contentment and happiness are a state of mind and being. Thanks for sharing the story of this family.
      Blessings and love!

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  4. The children in Haiti seem much happier in their concrete, primitive, bunked rooms than I do in this big old farmhouse...

    Contentment. I'll take a huge dose of it, please.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Sandy!
      May the New Year bring you that peace and contentment, as big a dose as you need. :)
      Blessings and love!

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  5. Sometimes I feel that when we don't occupy our spare time with gaining spiritual growth we often end up growing in meaningless ways- In size physically or materially. We have to put our heart here our real treasure is. Thanks for reminding this !
    Sometimes as we reach our goals and don't have another we just make the same dream bigger rather than trying a new dream. This is a tap saying- be careful with the goals that are set :)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Jerly!
      Very wise thoughts expressed here . . . We do need to put our hearts where the real treasure is and be happy within our own skin. Yes, bigger is not always better!
      Blessings and love!

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  6. Quite rightly said. Material happiness is always short-lived and yearns for more but happiness is sometimes just smiles and a peaceful life walking by faith and love.

    A peaceful and happy 2013 to you and Danny, dear Martha.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Thanks for dropping by today, Susan!
      And, so well said! When we walk in faith and love, we will be happy and content, no matter where we are in life.
      May your new year be filled with peace and happiness, too!
      Blessings and love!

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  7. I think it has, honestly. I have my moments when I am raging with myself about something, but mostly, I feel blessed. Wishing you the best this year, Martha.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Brenda!
      I hear you . . . Some days are definitely more difficult than others to just rest in the promise.
      Blessings and love in the new year!

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  8. Being grateful that my dad was a miser might sound a bit odd, but I am. I don't desire more and more, (not often anyway) but I give gratitude freely for what I do have. I have so much Martha, so many that have those fine homes, have so little. thank you for being you. <3 Love Jan <3

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    1. Thanks for coming by today, Jan!
      It always amazes me how God can take a situation which seems unpleasant, i.e., your dad being a Scrooge, and make us all the better for it. I can tell from your posts that you are, indeed, grateful for so many things.
      Blessings and love!

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  9. Amen <3

    That if only syndrome is something I realised few years back when I had got a presentation on email on those lines.. and since then I am trying hard to be contended in every small joy that comes my way and not attach my happiness with a person or an occasion. Being alive is a reason enough to be happy :D

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Me!
      Yes! Being alive IS reason enough to be happy and we need to celebrate those small joys as they happen. Miracles are all around us!
      Blessings and love!

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